Aldous Huxley to George Orwell: My Hellish Vision of the Future is Better Than Yours (1949)
My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.
literature  politics 
3 days ago
What does QAnon have to do with leftist Italian authors Wu Ming
…the conspiracy theory behind the conspiracy theory is that leftist pranksters inspired by Wu Ming’s novel Q created a fake internet person named “Q.” Under this guise, they share fake news in alt-right forums, getting users worked up over implausible revelations…
literature  politics 
4 days ago
How the menstrual cycle changes women’s brains – for better
It turns out that women are more adept at certain skills, such as spatial awareness, after their period. Three weeks after, they are significantly better communicators – and, oddly, particularly good at telling when others are feeling fearful. Finally, for part of their cycles their brains are actually bigger.
women  psychology  neurology 
5 days ago
Women Die More From Heart Attacks Than Men — Unless the ER Doc Is Female
There could be a systematic bias where male physicians are not listening to female patients' complaints as readily as [those of] a man, or there could be a bias that favors men in the medical literature, leading to misdiagnoses in women. It may also be that female doctors do a better job than their male counterparts.
health  gender 
7 days ago
The Underground Rivers of London
The Walbrook, which once flowed openly through the center of Roman London and was used for transport, was paved over in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Romans had a temple and port in its banks […] A total of twenty one rivers were forced underground by the burgeoning city, but their impact on London's landscape remains.
cities 
9 days ago
La supervivencia de los más ricos y cómo traman abandonar el barco
Para los multimillonarios, el futuro de la tecnología consiste en su capacidad de huida. El objetivo es trascender la condición humana y protegerse del cambio climático, los grandes flujos migratorios, las pandemias globales…
future  technology 
10 days ago
London’s Secret Nuclear Reactor

In the early 1960s, the Royal Naval College acquired a low-power nuclear reactor… Compared to those in nuclear power stations, JASON was a small reactor measuring 12 feet high and was surrounded by more than 300 tons of steel and concrete cladding to prevent stray neutrons from escaping. Despite its small size, Jason was potent… It was like a ticking time bomb. Surely, the Navy wasn’t going to tell Londoners they have a nuclear bomb for a neighbor. So JASON was kept a secret.
nuclear 
11 days ago
This new blockchain-based betting platform could cause Napster-size legal headaches
But despite fears that the rise of “assassination markets” could inspire real killings, the more urgent problem Augur presents is something else entirely… “If you do not have a very concrete intermediary—i.e., a company or group of people that are running the marketplace—how do you apply laws and prevent that activity from occurring?”
blockchain 
11 days ago
A Spectre is Haunting Unicode
JIS X 0208 ghost characters: 幽霊文字. Nobody knows what they mean, where they came from or how they should be pronounced.
unicode 
13 days ago
Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason
Facebook really is evil. Not on purpose. In the banal kind of way […] To Facebook, the world is not made up of individuals, but of connections between them. The billions of Facebook accounts belong not to “people” but to “users,” collections of data points connected to other collections of data points on a vast Social Network, to be targeted and monetized by computer programs. There are certain things you do not in good conscience do to humans. To data, you can do whatever you like.
facebook  data  socialnetworks 
16 days ago
Doing well in school is nothing to be proud of
In 1958, sociologist Michael Young created the term “meritocracy” in a dystopian novel that warned of the horrors of categorizing humans by intelligence.
psychology  economy  politics  education 
16 days ago
El hombre que enterró a Franco nos explica cómo exhumarlo hoy
”En caso de que así fuera, de que Franco no estuviera allí, seguiría en el interior del Valle de los Caídos.”
history  spain 
18 days ago
El imperio del extremo centro
Crítica de <em>Imperiofobia y leyenda negra</cite>. "Con numerosos retazos de verdad, Roca Barea teje una monumental falacia, intelectualmente insostenible y peligrosa desde el punto de vista ético y político."
history  spain 
19 days ago
Lying in a foreign language is easier
The scientists [Universität Würzburg] believe that these findings reflect the "antagonistic effects of emotional distance and cognitive load". "Based on the cognitive load hypothesis, one would have expected increased effort for truth telling and lying in a foreign language, with the increased effort being more pronounced for lying," Kristina Suchotzki says. The data suggest that the increased cognitive effort is responsible for the prolongation of the truth response in the foreign language.
psychology 
23 days ago
Welcome to the Meghalayan Age - a new phase in history
The middle phase of the Holocene will be referred to as the Northgrippian, and runs from 8,300 years ago up to the start of the Meghalayan… The oldest phase of the Holocene - the exit from the ice age - will be known as the Greenlandian.
earth  history 
24 days ago
Tower of The Winds: The World’s First Weather Station
…the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes is an elegant octagonal marble tower in the Roman Agora in Athens. More than 2,000 years old, the tower has eight sides corresponding to the eight principle winds, a sundial to tell time, a wind vane to show the direction of wind and an interior water clock that in antiquity could be read even in darkness.
weather  history  places 
25 days ago
Storytelling And The Technological Nothing
90% of what you are being told about AI, Blockchain, and automation right now isn’t truthful. It is only meant allocate space in your imagination, so that at the right time you can be sold something, and distracted while your data, privacy, and security can be exploited, or straight up swindled out from under you.
AI  blockchain  robots  technology 
28 days ago
How American Racism Influenced Hitler
In 1928, Hitler remarked, approvingly, that white settlers in America had “gunned down the millions of redskins to a few hundred thousand.” When he spoke of Lebensraum, the German drive for “living space” in Eastern Europe, he often had America in mind.
politics  history 
29 days ago
Vicenç Navarro: Por favor, no insulten a la clase trabajadora
Me parece correcta la expresión de persona de renta alta, mediana y baja. Pero me parece insultante que se hable de clase alta, media y baja. En realidad los términos burguesía, pequeña burguesía, clase media y clase trabajadora (a la cual pertenece la mayoría de españoles) son términos científicos y por lo tanto válidos tanto en el siglo XIX como en el XX y XXI. La ley de gravedad es muy antigua pero no es anticuada.
spain  politics  sociology 
4 weeks ago
African Multiregionalism: the New Story of Humanity's Origins
Several new discoveries suggest that our species didn’t arise from a single point in space. Instead, the entire continent was our cradle.
evolution 
4 weeks ago
Brutalist Web Design
A website's materials aren't HTML tags, CSS, or JavaScript code. Rather, they are its content and the context in which it's consumed.
web  design 
4 weeks ago
John Mullan: The origins of the Gothic
Gothic fiction began as a sophisticated joke. Horace Walpole first applied the word ‘Gothic’ in the subtitle of The Castle of Otranto (1764). It meant something like ‘barbarous’, as well as ‘deriving from the Middle Ages’.
literature  art 
4 weeks ago
Delivering WordPress in 7KB
…the Internet's energy demands are growing exponentially. Every additional byte transferred means more energy, which in most countries means more CO₂.
web  design  energy  environment 
4 weeks ago
Plan to Exhume Franco Renews Spain’s Wrestle With History
Paul Preston… said that Spain was an anomaly in Europe in keeping a “place of pilgrimage for its fascist dictator” — there are no monuments to Adolf Hitler in Germany or in Austria, nor to Benito Mussolini in Italy.
history  spain  war 
4 weeks ago
When Jean-Paul Sartre Had a Bad Mescaline Trip and Then Hallucinated, for Years, That He Was Being Followed by Crabs | Open Culture
This went on for a year before Sartre went to see his friend Jacques Lacan for psychoanalysis. “We concluded, “ he says, “that it was a fear of becoming alone.”
literature  drugs 
5 weeks ago
Independentismo no independentista, la complejidad del procés y sus estereotipos
Amador Fernández-Savater entrevista a Edgar Straehle. "Qué relación tiene esa indiferencia anestesiante con la victoria de los estereotipos, esas imágenes prefabricadas que eliminan toda la complicación del procés y nos lo presentan como una reacción puramente identitaria, etnicista, supremacista, elitista, intolerante?"
politics  spain  catalunya  fb 
5 weeks ago
itty.bitty
Itty bitty sites are contained entirely within their own link. This means they're portable and easy to share. One link can hold about as much as a printed page.
5 weeks ago
Why I'm automatically deleting my old tweets
Tweets should be ephemeral. “By keeping my timeline restricted to only the most recent few days, I feel like I’m using Twitter more like it was meant to be used: a way to join the conversation and see what’s happening in the world right now.”
twitter  socialnetworks 
6 weeks ago
The Crab Migration That the Colombian Army Is Dispatched to Protect
This species, known as Gercarcinus ruricola, typically lives on land. But they head to the sea annually for breeding purposes.
animals 
6 weeks ago
Have We Reached the Limit of Human Longevity? New Study Says No
If you live to 105, your chances of dying in a given year are roughly 50/50, and it seems to stay that way […] “If there is a mortality plateau, then there is no limit to human longevity”.
life  biology 
6 weeks ago
Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags
For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains. There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption […] Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters.
socialnetworks  surveillance  facebook 
6 weeks ago
When Audiences Come To See Authors Lecture, It Is Largely in the Hope That We’ll Be Funnier To Look at Than To Read
I can understand why lecture addicts go to look at British explorers, Russian princesses, and Balinese dancers, because they have pretty lantern slides or tiaras or legs. But it is incomprehensible why in fairly large numbers they flock out to view a novelist or a poet. Is it because they hope he will be even funnier to look at than to read?
—Sinclair Lewis
literature 
6 weeks ago
COBOL
The last time you used an ATM, chances are the transaction was powered by a nearly 60-year-old computer programming language.
programming 
6 weeks ago
We May Be All Alone in the Known Universe: Oxford Study
<p>Our main result is to show that proper treatment of scientific uncertainties dissolves the Fermi paradox by showing that it is not at all unlikely ex ante for us to be alone in the Milky Way, or in the observable universe.</p><p>Our second result is to show that, taking account of observational bounds on the prevalence of other civilizations, our updated probabilities suggest that there is a substantial probability that we are alone.</p>
space 
7 weeks ago
Breaking Linear Classifiers on ImageNet
We can take any arbitrary image (e.g. “panda”) and classify it as whatever class we want (e.g. “ostrich”) by adding tiny, imperceptible noise patterns… But in fact the core flaw extends to many other domains (e.g. speech recognition systems) and, most importantly, also to Linear Classifiers. It is in fact this <em>linear</em> nature that is problematic. And because Deep Learning models use linear functions to build up the architecture, they inherit their flaw.
AI 
7 weeks ago
Ecosistema de l’institut… per massa raons
Una institució inspirada per les millors intencions i, tanmateix, estructuralment tòxica?
education 
7 weeks ago
How many words do you need to speak a language?
You only need to learn 50 foreign words to be understood. Bump it up to 800 and you should get through about 75% of all daily conversations.
language 
7 weeks ago
El primer portátil de la literatura fue español (y se burlaba del capitalismo)
Rafael Zamora y Pérez de Urría, marqués de Valero de Urría: electroprosadoras y versificadoras para aficionados y discursadoras para componer y pronunciar mítines.
literature  computers 
7 weeks ago
Romain Gary: The greatest literary conman ever?
Hero of the French resistance, consul general in Los Angeles, Hollywood director and two-times winner of the Prix Goncourt (technically impossible according to the award’s rubric).
literature 
7 weeks ago
Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance
Maciej Cegłowski. The economic basis of the Internet is surveillance. Short term fixes (security, ephemerality and defunding) are feasible, but we need to make structural changes.
internet  politics  facebook  surveillance 
8 weeks ago
Los arquitectos de Internet se revelan contra el copyright de Bruselas: "Es una amenaza para las libertades"
"Si hubiera estado vigente cuando se desarrollaron los protocolos principales de Internet, es poco probable que hoy existiera tal y como lo conocemos."
copyright  internet 
8 weeks ago
Looking for Life on a Flat Earth
The astronauts are Freemasons, sworn to secrecy. The other workers, the engineers and functionaries, have either been duped or don’t want to speak out, for fear of losing their jobs. [And they’re all Satanists and Luciferians on the top.]
science 
8 weeks ago
Rich people are buying up dinosaurs because museums are too poor to get them
“Fossil specimens that are sold into private hands are lost to science.”
evolution 
10 weeks ago
A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind
What if everything around us is intelligent in its own way, and we’re just not smart enough to see it?
life  consciousness 
10 weeks ago
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán: Manifiesto anti-corrupción
…un particular estado de socorros mutuos al que alguien llegó a llamar <em>bloque constitucional</em>, contribuyendo así a la sospecha antigua y moderna de que Dios los crea y ellos se juntan.
politics  spain 
10 weeks ago
Alberto Manguel: Stevenson sota les palmeres
…que «el nostre destí és el fracàs» i que, per tant, l’èxit vertader resideix en l’esforç i en el camí triat.
literature 
11 weeks ago
No one’s ready for GDPR
“For many years it’s been, ‘How much data can we trick people into giving us?’ and ‘We’ll figure out how to use it later!’… There are some companies we’ve talked to, where they say, ‘Are you kidding? If we told them how we were using their data, they’d never give it to us in the first place.”
data  privacy  surveillance 
11 weeks ago
187 Things the Blockchain Is Supposed to Fix
From poverty to Skynet, including "people not taking their medicine".
blockchain 
11 weeks ago
Every story in the world has one of these six basic plots
Using sentiment analysis —a statistical technique often applied to social media posts— the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab has mined over 1,700 English novels to reveal six basic story types:

1. Rags to riches — Rise
2. Riches to rags — Fall
3. Icarus – Rise, fall
4. Oedipus — Fall, rise, fall
5. Cinderella — Rise, fall, rise
6. Man in a hole — Fall, rise
literature 
11 weeks ago
Beatriz Gimeno: "La lactancia está sirviendo para marcar el estándar de la buena y la mala madre"
…en las sociedades médicas y científicas internacionales se ha producido una lucha política, como la que se pudo producir para despatologizar la homosexualidad o la transexualidad… Esa lactancia está llena de significados, algunos pueden ser progresistas y unos son muy reaccionarios… Disponer de escuelas infantiles públicas y gratuitas o de una red de salud pediátrica de mucha calidad determina más la salud de los hijos que la lactancia o la no lactancia.
women  health 
12 weeks ago
Why blockchain isn’t magic and it won’t fix every problem you have
“You have to go through a use case rationalization exercise to see if blockchain makes sense for a business.”
blockchain 
12 weeks ago
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony with EU lawmakers was super awkward
Weber suggested that Facebook’s algorithms are “incomprehensible,” and that perhaps regulation should consider making algorithms public.
data  privacy  facebook 
12 weeks ago
Hervé Falciani: «Les criptomonedes són l’evolució natural dels paradisos fiscals»
…ha advocat per un sistema que separe la gestió de la identitat privada de l’àmbit econòmic mitjançant un mecanisme de pseudoidentitat. «Separar i localitzar les dades és important per al nostre benestar i economia, no poden estar mesclats perquè trauen profit de la nostra informació. Cal aprofitar la tecnologia però no podem deixar que s’aprofite de nosaltres», ha apuntat.
economy  politics  bitcoin 
12 weeks ago
Google’s Selfish Ledger is an unsettling vision of Silicon Valley social engineering
This internal video from 2016 shows a Google concept for how total data collection could reshape society.
data  privacy  Google  blockchain 
12 weeks ago
Viruses, ET and the octopus from space: the return of panspermia
A major paper revives the oft-mocked theory that life on Earth began in a rain of cosmic microbes.
evolution 
12 weeks ago
Pim Van Lommel: “Hay conciencia después de la muerte”
¿Sabe que el 70 por ciento de los regresados se divorciaron poco después?
consciousness  death 
12 weeks ago
Chatbots are saints
Although chatbots have been presented as a means of humanizing machine language — of adapting computers to the human world — the real goal all along has been to mechanize human language in order to bring the human more fully into the machine world. Only then can Silicon Valley fulfill its mission of capturing the entirety of human experience as machine-readable, monetizable data.
AI  data 
may 2018
Peter Diamandis on Overcoming Murphy’s Law | Quote Investigator
“If anything can go wrong, fix it! (To hell with Murphy!)”
may 2018
¿Quieres un préstamo? Dime qué móvil utilizas y sabré si vas a ser moroso
…una decena de aspectos diferentes… como el dispositivo desde el que se hizo la compra, el sistema operativo, el proveedor de correo electrónico del cliente o la hora a la que se llevó a cabo la adquisición.
surveillance  data  privacy 
may 2018
Exercise Tiger: The Disastrous D-Day Rehearsal That Cost 800 Lives
General Dwight D. Eisenhower… insisted that live ammunition be used instead of blanks so that his soldiers could feel, see and even smell what a real battlefield looked like.
war 
may 2018
Jaime Miquel: La perestroika que necesita el Estado
…lo principal ya está escrito en los números de la sociedad: si no es perestroika ahora, será ruptura después.
spain  catalunya  politics 
may 2018
De-Googling my phone
LineageOS, alternative app stores, free apps, file syncing, etc.
Google  phones 
may 2018
Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life
How Thousands of Companies Monitor, Analyze, and Influence the Lives of Billions. Report + Web Publication.
data  surveillance 
may 2018
El 'spam' cumple 40 años: así se cabrearon las primeras víctimas del correo basura
Gary Thuerk (DEC): “Subrayé unos 400 nombres en el Directorio de ARPANET de unos 2.600 usuarios. Mi jefe de producto, Carl Gartley, las escribió [una por una] en el sistema de correo. Y yo escribí la invitación.”
email  spam 
may 2018
Choosing a Responsive Email Framework: MJML vs. Foundation for Emails
Building responsive emails isn’t simple at all, it is like taking a time machine back to 2001.
css  email 
may 2018
True AI is both logically possible and utterly implausible
Luciano Floridi. Singularitarians vs. AItheists. "How some nasty ultraintelligent AI will ever evolve autonomously from the computational skills required to park in a tight spot remains unclear. The truth is that climbing on top of a tree is not a small step towards the Moon; it is the end of the journey."
AI 
april 2018
Are you really Facebook’s product? The history of a dangerous idea.
If anything, Facebook’s mistake in the Cambridge Analytica case was that it failed to treat users’ data as a valuable product.
facebook  data  privacy 
april 2018
La polémica de ‘Lolita’
La cultura la crean, básicamente, los grupos privilegiados, uno de cuyos privilegios –y no el menor– es precisamente el de hablar en nombre del conjunto. En el ámbito del género, ello se traduce en una equivalencia implícita que está en la base del patriarcado: la que consiste en tomar lo masculino por lo humano. Precisamente el artículo de Vargas Llosa nos ofrece de ello un ejemplo inmejorable, cuando reclama una literatura que ofrezca una “vía de escape” al “fondo retorcido de lo humano”.
literature  gender 
april 2018
Navajas en nuestras manos
Quedando esta violación probada [HECHOS PROBADOS en la sentencia], los magistrados llegan a la conclusión de que no hay violación, pidiendo incluso uno de ellos -en el voto particular- que se absuelva a los acusados.
gender 
april 2018
Lecturas de «Teoría King Kong»
…porque no todos los hombres abusan de las mujeres pero todos los hombres <em>pueden abusar</em> de las mujeres… Nuestra identidad de género es cuando menos machista en potencia, ya que el lugar que ocupamos en la sociedad es privilegiado y está programado para permitirnos ciertos comportamientos abusivos.
gender 
april 2018
“Fake news” is the newest, fakest justification for the EU link tax
1. Putting a price tag on spreading articles will decrease the circulation of professional news.
2. The link tax will disadvantage small, new and independent publishers.
copyright  politics  EU 
april 2018
Researchers are keeping pig brains alive outside the body
Yale University neuroscientist Nenad Sestan disclosed that a team he leads had experimented on between 100 and 200 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse, restoring their circulation using a system of pumps, heaters, and bags of artificial blood warmed to body temperature. There was no evidence that the disembodied pig brains regained consciousness. However… billions of individual cells in the brains were found to be healthy and capable of normal activity.
animals  science 
april 2018
Aquell 1986
Més de trenta anys després, la primavera del 86 té escàs glamour per anar explicant-la a classe (ho vaig intentar alguna vegada, sense massa èxit). Per contra, aquest mes de maig se celebrarà el cinquentenari d’aquell 68 que, certament, va tenir una transcendència històrica determinant, que arriba en forma de conseqüències perdurables en els nostres dies […] allò va ser un trencament generacional en què els més joves van qüestionar profundament les formes conservadores de la vida quotidiana, en què van dissoldre les rigideses morals dels seus avis. En certa mesura, els “soixante-huitards” van aconseguir una revolució en què l’individu deixava de restar constrenyit pel sistema de relacions, institucions i creences col·lectives. En aquest sentit, va resultar tot un èxit. Per contra, la trencadissa va servir per clivellar els fonaments de la solidaritat, per afeblir els lligams socials, per dispersar les lluites i customitzar els objectius. L’expansionisme personal va contribuir a estendre la fi de les grans causes comunes, i com a dany col·lateral, encara perdurable, a acabar justificant les desigualtats resultants, en un univers materialista fonamentat en el conformisme que, anys més tard, Margaret Thatcher anomenà <em>“There Is Not Alternative”</em>.
history  politics 
april 2018
Monkey-selfie lawsuit finally ends: Court affirms adorable macaque can’t sue
Naruto does not have legal standing to file a copyright claim, as a crested macaque is not a person. Photographer agreed to donate 25% of future revenue to the Tangkoko reserve.
animals  copyright 
april 2018
Cow could soon be largest land mammal left due to human activity
There is a very clear pattern of size-biased extinction that follows the migration of hominims out of Africa […] In North America, for instance, the mean body mass of land-based mammals has shrunk to 7.6kg from 98kg after humans arrived.
animals 
april 2018
Let’s destroy Bitcoin
Three ways Bitcoin could be brought down, co-opted, or made irrelevant.
1. Government takeover
2. Facebook sneak attack
3. Go forth and multiply
What’s left for Bitcoin to do?
bitcoin 
april 2018
Oracle's Network Computer: Larry Ellison's Too-Early Idea
Oracle CEO sold the tech world on the Network Computer, a machine designed to kill the PC’s dominance. The problem? It was 15 years too early.
computers 
april 2018
The New York Times (1974): J. D. Salinger Speaks About His Silence
"There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."
literature  writing 
april 2018
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