In Internet history, 1994-2004 was the era of the pioneers. 2004-2007 was the era of the merchants. Now we’re entering the era of the bullies. Everywhere in the world, sites are going dark, arrests are increasing, more people are going to prison. The Web just celebrated its 20th birthday. Nobody used to take it seriously, but those days are gone.
“Anything cyber — cyberspace, cyberpunk, etc — reeks of Future Anterior and has a bit of that nostalgic (conservative) retraction from reality, even when dreaming up alternative realities. Incursions into cyber-whatever (Second Life urbanisms, virtual reality, etc.) are as much the future of The Web as digital renderings, parametric design and Dubai are the future of architecture and urbanism. Depending on where you stand, this means either everything or close to nothing.”—Where: Where is The Digital? (via secondverse)
“Dissenters in Iran and China persist despite repression that is enabled in part by equipment from U.S. and European companies. In the U.S., the Obama administration is following a dangerous path with Bush-era spy programs that should be suspended and prosecuted, not extended and defended.”—Amy Goodman (via azspot)
In the course of reading Chris Anderson’s new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Hyperion, $26.99), for a review in an upcoming issue of VQR, we have discovered almost a dozen passages that are reproduced nearly verbatim from uncredited sources. These instances were identified after a cursory investigation, after I checked by hand several dozen suspect passages in the whole of the 274-page book. This was not an exhaustive search, since I don’t have access to an electronic version of the book. Most of the passages, but not all, come from Wikipedia. Anderson is the author of the best-selling 2006 book The Long Tail and is the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. The official publication date for Free is July 7.
Reste à savoir si ce n’est pas lui qui a alimenté Wikipédia. A vérifier…
Myth 1. Genes determine the fate of our brains. Facts: Lifelong neuroplasticity allows our lifestyles and actions to play a meaningful role in how our brains physically evolve, especially given longer life expectancy.
Myth 2. Aging means automatic decline. Facts: There is nothing inherently fixed in the precise trajectory of how brain functions evolve as we age.
Myth 3. Medication is the main hope for cognitive enhancement. Facts: Non-invasive interventions can have comparable and more durable effects, side effect-free.
Myth 4. We will soon have a Magic Pill or General Solution to solve all our cognitive challenges. Facts: A multi-pronged approach is recommended, centered around nutrition, stress management, and both physical and mental exercise.
Myth 5. There is only one “it” in “Use It or Lose It”. Facts: The brain is composed of a number of specialized units. Our life and productivity depend on a variety of brain functions, not just one.
Myth 6. All brain activities or exercises are equal. Facts: Varied and targeted exercises are the necessary ingredients in brain training so that a wide range of brain functions can be stimulated.
Myth 7. There is only one way to train your brain. Facts: Brain functions can be impacted in a number of ways: through meditation, cognitive therapy, cognitive training.
Myth 8. We all have something called “Brain Age.” Facts: Brain age is a fiction. No two individuals have the same brain or expression of brain functions.
Myth 9. “Brain Age” can be reversed by 10, 20, 30 years. Facts: Brain training can improve specific brain functions, but, with research available today, cannot be said to roll back one’s “brain age” by a number of years.
Myth 10. All human brains need the same brain training. Facts: As in physical fitness, users must ask themselves: What functions do I need to improve on? In what timeframe? What is my budget?
Ah ouais… L’idéologie du cerveau a de beaux jours devant elle…
“The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world’s most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.”—Iran’s Web Spying Aided By Western Technology - WSJ.com
Telle est la question que l’on peut se poser… Il en faudrait certes plus pour réveiller les consciences, tétanisées par la sensiblerie émotive injectée à haute dose par l’intermédiaire de nos médias asservis.
Il est urgent de ré-endormir le peuple, qui était sur le point de redécouvrir le sens de la collectivité et de l’égalité… D’ailleurs, la croissance revient fin 2009 : “Nous” sommes sauvés. Ainsi, pourrons-nous tranquillement continuer à organiser l’orgie consommatoire, dépouiller jusqu’à l’os les pays du Sud, continuer “à manger des cerises en hiver” en dépit des signes d’épuisement de la terre qui nous a nourri jusqu’ici.
Ainsi, le Nautilus pourrait transformer l’organisation corruptrice du Sommet de l’Etat en Titanic…
“L’affaire commence en 2006 par un contrôle fiscal visant les sociétés d’un ancien de la DGSE, Michel Mauchand, et d’un ancien de la DST, Claude Thévenet. Des factures sont saisies. Adressées à DCNS, elles donnent à penser que des missions de renseignement ont été conduites contre les juges Renaud van Ruymbeke en France et Paul Perraudin, en Suisse. Ces juges d’instruction sont notamment chargés de l’affaire des frégates de Taïwan - van Ruymbeke travaillant en outre sur l’affaire Clearstream - et DCNS paraît chercher à savoir quelles sont leurs intentions la concernant.”—Economie / Corruption. DCNS dans la tourmente / magazine Mag Nautic
“A cette époque, le Pakistan a acheté à la DCNI (la société de commercialisation de la DCN) trois sous-marins pour 5,5 milliards de francs. Et selon la note rédigée par M. Thévenet, mais également d’après les confidences de l’ancien directeur financier de la DCN, Gérard-Philippe Menayas, qui a rédigé un memorandum circonstancié à l’adresse de la justice, la vente de 1994 était assortie de promesses de versements de commissions à des responsables militaires pakistanais et de «rétro-commissions» à destination de responsables politiques français.”—Attentat de Karachi: les révélations d’un ancien des services secrets | Mediapart
Roger Cohen is one of the few Western reporters still in Iran who is on the street and sending in reports. His personal account at the title link is extraordinarily courageous and maybe historic.
Swept up in the swirl of events, here are some excerpts:
A man at my side threw a rock at him. The commander, unflinching, continued to plead. There were chants of “Join us! Join us!” The unit retreated toward Revolution Street, where vast crowds eddied back and forth confronted by baton-wielding Basij militia and black-clad riot police officers on motorbikes… .
He has taunted millions of Iranians by praising their unprecedented participation in an election many now view as a ballot-box putsch. He has ridiculed the notion that an official inquiry into the vote might yield a different result. He has tried pathos and he has tried pounding his lectern. In short, he has lost his aura.
The taboo-breaking response was unequivocal. It’s funny how people’s obsessions come back to bite them. I’ve been hearing about Khamenei’s fear of “velvet revolutions” for months now. There was nothing velvet about Saturday’s clashes. In fact, the initial quest to have Moussavi’s votes properly counted and Ahmadinejad unseated has shifted to a broader confrontation with the regime itself.
Garbage burned. Crowds bayed. Smoke from tear gas swirled. Hurled bricks sent phalanxes of police, some with automatic rifles, into retreat to the accompaniment of cheers. Early afternoon rumors that the rally for Moussavi had been canceled yielded to the reality of violent confrontation… .
Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”… .
Later, as night fell over the tumultuous capital, gunfire could be heard in the distance. And from rooftops across the city, the defiant sound of “Allah-u-Akbar” — “God is Great” — went up yet again, as it has every night since the fraudulent election. But on Saturday it seemed stronger. The same cry was heard in 1979, only for one form of absolutism to yield to another. Iran has waited long enough to be free.
I’m talking about our tendency to be plugged-in to the point of constant distraction. With the rapid spread of smart phones, more and more people are “on” 24/7. They’re at the dinner table with you… but they’re not really with you. They nod distractedly while Twittering away, checking and sending texts, documenting the meal with photos to share on Facebook, and responding to emails from their bosses. At the risk of sounding like an old-fogey, when you do this, you are telling the other person that they are not interesting enough to hold your attention, that there is somewhere else you’d rather be, and quite honestly, that you lack social skills. There, I said it. Someone had to. Besides, it’s for your own good.
It’s making you gullible. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, humanity created 161 exabytes (huh?) of digital data in 2006. Sounds big, but how big is it? It is THREE MILLION TIMES as much information as all the books ever written. In. One. Year. By next year, that number will be 988 exabytes. No wonder you can’t take the time to figure out if everything you read is true or not.
“First, destroy old information about yourself. Call your video store or electricity company and replace your old, correct phone number with a new, invented one. Introduce spelling mistakes into your utility bills. Create a PO Box for your mail. Don’t use your credit cards and the like.
Then, create bogus information to fool private investigators who might be looking for you. Go to one city and apply for an apartment. Rent a car in another one.
The next, final step is the most important one. Move from point A to point B. Create a dummy company to pay your bills. Only use prepaid mobile phones and change them every month. It is nearly impossible to find out where you are unless you make a mistake.”