Author Archives: Vegaspos

Bob black the abolition of work and other essays on global …

Posted: December 4, 2016 at 11:24 pm

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Bob black the abolition of work and other essays on global …

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Infographics –

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Elon Musk has a new project in the offingand, no, it doesn’t involve Mars. This one is more prosaic, not to say more immediately realizable: it’s nothing less than to create a fully self-contained “energy ecosystem.” It’ll mean each man’s home is not just his castle, but is also his self-sufficient, sustainable power-generation plant.

In October of this year, the White House released a report titled “Preparing For the Future of Artificial Intelligence.” It’s a significant acknowledgement, from the highest organs of government, that AI is now a major part of our current and future lives. In this infographic, we’ve summarized the White House report’s key findings.

Computers that connect to the human brain could bring an end to Alzheimer’s. They could allow us to possess superhuman levels of memory and intelligence. They could change everythingand Bryan Johnson’s Kernel is making it happen.

They represent some of the most technologically sophisticated machines ever devised by humankind: reusable space planes. The U.S. Space Shuttle is undoubtedly the most famous example of this type of vehicle, but what else has been done in this direction? Here’s a look at space planes past and future.

As our technology has evolved, so has the way we interact with itand nothing exemplifies this more than the dream of a seamless brain-computer interface (BCI). Forget clunky keyboards and touchscreens: BCI is all about directly uniting humanity with the tools it creates. Here’s a look at the history and methods of BCI technology.

Machines are now able to learn and evolve without human intervention. So, how does it work exactly? And what does it mean for the future of humanity? Here’s a quick lesson on the basics of machine learning.

Thanks to New Horizons, we’ve completed the preliminary reconnaissance of the Solar System. Now it’s time to send man across our cosmic neighborhood. Here’s what that mission might look like in a few decades.

Vehicle autonomy is the wave of the futurenot just for cars anymore, we’re seeing automated technology in trains, buses, ships and even planes. The major transport, logistics and shipping companies are scrambling to develop operator-less technology just to stay relevant. Here’s a look at what else is going driverless.

Humans dreams bigand, better yet, we make those dreams a reality. It’s enabled us to tame nature, build new nations, defeat disease, defy gravity and even reach the Moon. And we’re not done yetnot by a long shot. From the quantum internet to terraforming Mars, here are some of mankind’s most ambitious future moonshots.

Visionary, polymath, scientist, artist, engineerLeonardo da Vinci was the quintessential “Renaissance Man.” Whether it was flying machines, diving suits, automatons or advanced weaponry, da Vinci envisioned the future and set about designing it. Here’s a look at Leonardo da Vinci’s most futuristic contraptions.

There’s a new aerospace technology on the horizonusing plasma, the superheated “fourth state of matter,” to enhance the aerodynamic performance of aircraft. Here, we break down the mechanics and the uses of this exciting new technology that has the aeronautics and aerospace industries all abuzz.

On September 27, Elon Musk unveiled his most ambitious project yetcalled the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), it’s nothing less than his long-awaited plan for, not only putting humans on Mars, but colonizing the Red Planet as well. In this handy infographic, we’ve distilled the ITS architecture into seven easy steps.

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WW3 On Your Doorstep | Veterans Today

Posted: November 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm

By Katherine Frisk on September 10, 2016

Russian Troops On US Northern Border

by Katherine Frisk

Are Americans prepared for this and are they fully aware of where their leadership is taking them? Or do they still believe that like the last century the whole world can go up in smoke and they will not only be unaffected but will make yet another huge profit into the bargain at everyone elses expense with their own population and infrastructure still intact?

NATO has by degrees since the fall of the Soviet Union, increased Nuclear and ground troops along Russias borders. HERE is one of the many reports that have come out in the last two years.

Ukraine was the victim of a coup led by George Soros, Chevron, Monsanto and Victoria Nuland. The Maiden demonstrations were a color revolution backed by NGOs and Open Society Foundations, the purpose of which was to put NATO in Crimea and along the border of Ukraine within miles of Moscow. The US spent over $5 billion to overthrow the Ukrainian government and president.

NATO clearly aided and abetted in war crimes in Donbass via its creating the conditions for them to happen

Half of Ukraine is Russian speaking and lives in the east.

This resulted in Crimea having an internationally recognized referendum where the people, mostly Russian, voted to return to the Russian Federation which they have been part of since the time of Catherine the Great which was only annexed to Ukraine during the Soviet Union Era.

European politicians and peace keepers have since visited Crimea and have affirmed that the referendum was a democratic decision by the people and was above-board and not rigged.

At the same time a civil war has erupted between western Ukraine and eastern Ukraine. Kiev has continuously grad rocket shelled the east because Donetsk and Lugantsk do not recognize the current government which even the US intelligence agency Stratfor, has called the most blatant coup in history.

Over 1 million refugees fled Ukraine, not to Kiev or to Europe, but to Russia. Besides being doctors, lawyers, engineers and factory owners many of them were successful farmers from the renown fertile black earth region.

These farmers were relocated to eastern Russia, given land and subsidies for farming. As a result in spite of sanctions imposed since 2014, Russia has turned the situation around from being a food importer to a food exporter in the space of two years. GMO, genetically modified food is banned in Russia as well as poisonous herbicides.

In recent weeks we have seen the whole Russian team banned from the Paralympic games, sanctions extended against Russia and the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine for another six months and strangely enough, Typhoon Lionrock hit the Russian Far East after the powerful cyclone brought heavy rains on August 29-31, the east being an area where Russia is now heavily investing in a resurgence of the agricultural industry.

And on that score, you might want to give Italy, the Phillipines And Oklahoma get an Earthquake some thought.

During WW1 and WW2Jacob Schiff of the Federal Reserve funded Japan in their wars against Russia and China as well as Lenin and Trotsky. Bush, Ford, Rockefeller, Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P.Morgan, Harriman and a number of others funded Hitler and his blitzkrieg into eastern Europe and finally Stalingrad.

The United States of America was not openly attacking Russia and claimed to be in support of the Allies. They only entered the war when Stalingrad fell and the Russians did their own blitzkrieg to Berlin.

Americans wanted to get to Berlin first. Since WW2 US policy in Germany has been to keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in. Germany has the largest US military base outside of the US.

Which brings us to this: Germany Prepares For Domestic Troop Deployments As Catastrophic Terrorist Attack Deemed Conceivable, Even Probable

Terrorists or. a planned buildup under the guise of terrorism for a German, US, NATO attack on Russia? In April 2016 Obama Requested EU Support for Possible War Against Russia.

This time in WW3, unlike in WW1 and WW2, the United States is openly aggressive towards Russia as opposed to their proxy armies during the two previous world wars where they could claim plausible deniability as they are now doing with their support of Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

However, unlike the two previous world wars where the USA was protected by the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans from any attack on its own territory, should WW3 break out, this time the situation will be entirely different.

Red Square Military Parade Moscow

Russia has Boosted Arctic Military Presence with Ten Airfields, Alaska is only 86 kilometers away from Russia at the narrowest point and the US western sea board is within striking distance. Consider this article: How Russian And China Could Strike The US Airforces Achilles Heel.

While often overlooked in favor of advanced anti-ship and surface-to-air missile systems when examining Russian and Chinese anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, such long-range air intercept weaponscoupled with the right fightercould cut the sinews that allow the United States to conduct sustained air operations in both the Asia-Pacific and the European theatres.

Essentially, Russians and/or Chinese forces could pair long-range air-to-air missiles with aircraft like the Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound, Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and the Chengdu J-20 to attack American AWACS, JTARS and aerial refueling tankers like the Boeing KC-135 or forthcoming KC-46 Pegasus.

Especially over the vast reaches of the Pacific where airfields are few and far between, lumbering aerial refueling tankers could be an Achilles Heel that Beijing could chose to exploit. There are three long-range air-to-air missile programs that bear watchingthe Russian Vympel R-37M RVV-BD, the Novator KS-172 (aka K-100) and the Chinese PL-15.

Missile Crisis 2016

In Putins recent Bloomberg interview he broke protocol and instead asked the journalist John Micklethwait a question:

Vladimir Putin: Well, I would like to finish my answer to the previous question. You have been working as a journalist for a long time. You are quite knowledgeable and you understand all the threats that may arise from a tense international environment, dont you? Especially if there is tension between major nuclear powers of the world. We all understand this.

Of course, you are the one asking me questions. It is you who is the interviewer, not I. However, let me ask you a question: do you want another Cuban Missile Crisis? Or dont you?

John Micklethwait: No, nobody does.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, nobody does.

John Kennedy Bobby Kennedy

This time there is no John Kennedy in the White House and no prospect of one in the near future, no matter what the American people think. But that is another can of worms and a dog and pony show rigged and designed as entertainment for the little people.

Unlike the referendum in Crimea. Or the Donbass in eastern Ukraine where people are prepared to fight and die in defiance of a corrupt government that was installed by a US engineered coup. In the same way that Russians were prepared to fight and die in WW2 where almost 30 million perished. Their homes were bombed, their families annihilated and their women raped.

That is the thing you see they are prepared to die. Are you? Or is this not part of your Hollywood reality, Batman Shooting, Boston Bombing and Sandy Hook faked disasters with crisis actors? Where does Rambo and George Clooney fit into the equation?

In a recent interview with the press Putin said :

We know year by year whats going to happen, and they know that we know. Its only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I dont know how to get through to you anymore.

So again I ask:

Are Americans prepared for this and are they fully aware of where their leadership is taking them? Or do they still believe that like the last century the whole world can go up in smoke and they will not only be unaffected but will make yet another huge profit into the bargain at everyone elses expense with their own population and infrastructure still intact?

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Tension myositis syndrome – Wikipedia

Posted: at 6:40 pm

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome, is a name given by John E. Sarno to a condition he describes as characterized by psychogenic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms, most notably back pain.[1][2][3] Sarno, a Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and Attending Physician at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center, has described TMS in four books,[4][5][6][7] and has stated that the condition may be involved in other pain disorders as well.[2] The treatment protocol for TMS includes education, writing about emotional issues, resumption of a normal lifestyle and, for some patients, support meetings and/or psychotherapy.[1][8] In 2007, David Schechter (a medical doctor and former student and research assistant of Sarno’s) published a peer-reviewed study of TMS treatment showing a 54% success rate for chronic back pain. In terms of statistical significance and success rate, the study outperformed similar studies of other psychological interventions for chronic back pain.[1]

The TMS diagnosis and treatment protocol are not accepted by the mainstream medical community.[9][10] However, TMS and Sarno’s treatment methods have received national attention, including a segment on ABC’s 20/20;[10] an episode of Larry King Live;[11] an interview with Medscape;[2] and articles in Newsweek,[12]The Seattle Times,[13] and The New York Times.[9] Prominent medical doctors who support TMS treatment include Andrew Weil[14][15] and Mehmet Oz.[16] Notable patients treated for tension myositis syndrome include Senator Tom Harkin, John Stossel,[3]Howard Stern,[17] and Anne Bancroft.[9]

Back pain is frequently mentioned as a TMS symptom,[1][8][18][19] but Sarno defines TMS symptoms much more broadly than that:

Below is a list of criteria for diagnosing TMS, according to Schechter and Sarno:

Schechter and Sarno state that if a patient is unable to visit a medical doctor who is trained in TMS, then the patient should see a traditional medical doctor to rule out serious disorders, such as fractures, tumors and infections.[13][20]

The treatment protocol for TMS includes education, writing about emotional issues and resumption of a normal lifestyle. For patients who do not recover quickly, the protocol also includes support groups and/or psychotherapy.[1][8]

Sarno’s protocol for treatment of TMS is used by the Harvard RSI Action Group, a student volunteer organization, as part of their preventative education and support program for people with repetitive strain injury, also referred to as “RSI”.[21]

Education may take the form of office visits, lectures and written and audio materials. The content of the education includes the psychological and physiological aspects of TMS.[1][8] According to Schechter, the education allows the patients to “learn that their physical condition is actually benign and that any disability they have is a function of pain-related fear and deconditioning, not the actual risk of further ‘re-injury.'”[1]

Sarno states that each patient should set aside time daily to think and write about issues that could have led to the patient’s repressed emotions. He recommends the following two writing tasks:

Schechter developed a 30-day daily journal called “The MindBody Workbook” to assist the patient in recording emotionally significant events and making correlations between those events and their physical symptoms. According to Sarno and Schechter, daily repetition of the psychological process over time defeats the repression through conscious awareness.[22]

To return to a normal lifestyle, patients are told to take the following actions:

Sarno uses support meetings for patients who do not make a prompt recovery. Sarno states that the support meetings (a) allow the patients to explore emotional issues that may be causing their symptoms and (b) review concepts covered during the earlier education.[8]

Sarno says that about 20% of his patients need psychotherapy. He states that he uses “short-term, dynamic, analytically oriented psychotherapy.”[8] Schechter says that he uses psychotherapy for about 30% of his patients, and that six to ten sessions are needed per patient.[1]

Alan Gordon, LCSW has created a TMS recovery program on the TMS Wiki, which includes various articles, exercises, and segments from sessions exemplifying therapeutic concepts.

While psychogenic pain and pain disorder are accepted diagnoses in the medical community, the TMS modality is more controversial.

A non-peer-reviewed 2005 study by Schechter at the Seligman Medical Institute (SMI), co-authored with institute director Arthur Smith, found that treatment of TMS achieved a 57% success rate among patients with chronic back pain.[23]

A peer-reviewed[24] 2007 study with Schechter, Smith and Stanley Azen, Professor and Co-Director of Biostatistics in the Department of Preventative Medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, found a 54% success rate for treatment of TMS (P<.00001 the treatment consisted of office visits at-home educational materials writing about emotional issues and psychotherapy. average pain duration for study patients was years. with less than months back were excluded to confounder that most episodes typically resolve on their own in a few weeks.>

Schechter, Smith and Azen also compared their results to the results of three studies of other psychological treatments for chronic back pain. The three non-TMS studies were selected because of (a) their quality, as judged by the Cochrane Collaboration, and (b) the similarity of their pain measurements to those used in the TMS study. Of the three non-TMS studies, only one (the Turner study) showed a statistically significant improvement. Compared to the 2007 TMS study, the Turner study had a lower success rate (26%-35%, depending on the type of psychological treatment) and a lower level of statistical significance (P<.05>

Schechter, et al. state that one advantage of TMS treatment is that it avoids the risks associated with surgery and medication, but they caution that the risks of TMS treatment are somewhat unknown due to the relatively low number of patients studied so far.[1]

According to Sarno, TMS is a condition in which unconscious emotional issues (primarily rage) initiate a process that causes physical pain and other symptoms. His theory suggests that the unconscious mind uses the autonomic nervous system to decreases blood flow to muscles, nerves or tendons, resulting in oxygen deprivation, experienced as pain in the affected tissues.[2][8][25] Sarno theorizes that because patients often report that back pain seems to move around, up and down the spine, or from side to side, that this implies the pain may not be caused by a physical deformity or injury.[7]

Sarno states that the underlying cause of the pain is the mind’s defense mechanism against unconscious mental stress and emotions such as anger, anxiety and narcissistic rage. The conscious mind is distracted by the physical pain, as the psychological repression process keeps the anger/rage contained in the unconscious and thereby prevented from entering conscious awareness.[19][26] Sarno believes that when patients recognize that the symptoms are only a distraction, the symptoms then serve no purpose, and they go away. TMS can be considered a psychosomatic condition and has been referred to as a “distraction pain syndrome”.[20]

Sarno is a vocal critic of conventional medicine with regard to diagnosis and treatment of back pain, which is often treated by rest, physical therapy, exercise and/or surgery.[5]

Notable patients who have been treated for TMS include the following:

The TMS diagnosis and treatment protocol are not accepted by the mainstream medical community.[9][10] Sarno himself stated in a 2004 interview with Medscape Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine that “99.999% of the medical profession does not accept this diagnosis.”[2] Although the vast majority of medical doctors do not accept TMS, there are prominent doctors who do. Andrew Weil, a notable medical doctor and alternative medicine proponent, endorses TMS treatment for back pain.[14][15]Mehmet Oz, a television personality and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, includes TMS treatment in his four recommendations for treating back pain.[16] Richard E. Sall, a medical doctor who authored a book on worker’s compensation, includes TMS in a list of conditions he considers possible causes of back pain resulting in missed work days that increase the costs of worker’s compensation programs.[29]

Critics in mainstream medicine state that neither the theory of TMS nor the effectiveness of the treatment has been proven in a properly controlled clinical trial,[6] citing the placebo effect and regression to the mean as possible explanations for its success. Patients typically see their doctor when the pain is at its worst and pain chart scores statistically improve over time even if left untreated; most people recover from an episode of back pain within weeks without any medical intervention at all.[30] The TMS theory has also been criticized as too simplistic to account for the complexity of pain syndromes.[10] James Rainville, a medical doctor at New England Baptist Hospital, said that while TMS treatment works for some patients, Sarno mistakenly uses the TMS diagnosis for other patients who have real physical problems.[31]

Sarno responds that he has had success with many patients who have exhausted every other means of treatment, which he says is proof that regression to the mean is not the cause.[10]


Tension myositis syndrome – Wikipedia

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FM-2030 – Wikipedia

Posted: at 6:31 pm

FM-2030 (October 15, 1930 July 8, 2000) was an author, teacher, transhumanist philosopher, futurist, consultant and athlete.[1] FM-2030 was born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary (Persian: ).

He became notable as a transhumanist with the book Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, published in 1989. In addition, he wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name F.M. Esfandiary.

The son of an Iranian diplomat, he travelled widely as a child, living in 17 countries by age 11; then, as a young man, he represented Iran as a basketball player at the 1948 Olympic Games in London[2] and served on the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from 1952 to 1954.[3]

In the mid-1970s F.M. Esfandiary legally[4] changed his name to FM-2030 for two main reasons. Firstly, to reflect the hope and belief that he would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2030; secondly, and more importantly, to break free of the widespread practice of naming conventions that he saw as rooted in a collectivist mentality, and existing only as a relic of humankind’s tribalistic past. He viewed traditional names as almost always stamping a label of collective identityvarying from gender to nationalityon the individual, thereby existing as prima facie elements of thought processes in the human cultural fabric, that tended to degenerate into stereotyping, factionalism, and discrimination. In his own words, “Conventional names define a person’s past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago and certainly not who I will be in twenty years. […] The name 2030 reflects my conviction that the years around 2030 will be a magical time. In 2030 we will be ageless and everyone will have an excellent chance to live forever. 2030 is a dream and a goal.”[5]

He was a lifelong vegetarian and said he would not eat anything that had a mother.[6] FM-2030 once said, “I am a 21st century person who was accidentally launched in the 20th. I have a deep nostalgia for the future.”[7] He taught at The New School, UCLA, and Florida International University.[1] He worked as a corporate consultant for Lockheed and J.C. Penney.[1] He was married to transhumanist Natasha Vita-More until his death/cryonic suspension.[8]

On July 8, 2000, FM-2030 died from pancreatic cancer and was placed in cryonic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his body remains today.[9] He did not yet have remote standby arrangements, so no Alcor team member was present at his death, but FM-2030 was the first person to be vitrified, rather than simply frozen as previous cryonics patients had been.[6] FM-2030 was survived by four sisters and one brother.[citation needed]

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FM-2030 – Wikipedia

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Word Games: What the NSA Means by Targeted Surveillance …

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

We all know that the NSA uses word games to hide and downplay its activities. Words like “collect,” “conversations,” “communications,” and even “surveillance” have suffered tortured definitions that create confusion rather than clarity.

Theres another one to watch: “targeted” v. “mass” surveillance.

Since 2008, the NSA has seized tens of billions of Internet communications. It uses the Upstream and PRISM programswhich the government claims are authorized under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Actto collect hundreds of millions of those communications each year. The scope is breathtaking, including the ongoing seizure and searching of communications flowing through key Internet backbone junctures,[1]the searching of communications held by service providers like Google and Facebook, and, according to the government’s own investigators, the retention of significantly more than 250 million Internet communications per year.[2]

Yet somehow, the NSA and its defenders still try to pass 702 surveillance off as “targeted surveillance,” asserting that it is incorrect when EFF and many others call it “mass surveillance.”

Our answer: if “mass surveillance” includes the collection of the content of hundreds of millions of communications annually and the real-time search of billions more, then the PRISM and Upstream programs under Section 702 fully satisfy that definition.

This word game is important because Section 702 is set to expire in December 2017. EFF and our colleagues who banded together to stop the Section 215 telephone records surveillance are gathering our strength for this next step in reining in the NSA. At the same time, the government spin doctors are trying to avoid careful examination by convincing Congress and the American people that this is just “targeted” surveillance and doesnt impact innocent people.

PRISM and Upstream surveillance are two types of surveillance that the government admits that it conducts under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, passed in 2008. Each kind of surveillance gives the U.S. government access to vast quantities of Internet communications.[3]

Upstream gives the NSA access to communications flowing through the fiber-optic Internet backbone cables within the United States.[4] This happens because the NSA, with the help of telecommunications companies like AT&T, makes wholesale copies of the communications streams passing through certain fiber-optic backbone cables. Upstream is at issue in EFFs Jewel v. NSA case.

PRISM gives the government access to communications in the possession of third-party Internet service providers, such as Google, Yahoo, or Facebook. Less is known about how PRISM actually works, something Congress should shine some light on between now and December 2017.[5]

Note that those two programs existed prior to 2008they were just done under a shifting set of legal theories and authorities.[6] EFF has had evidence of the Upstream program from whistleblower Mark Klein since 2006, and we have been suing to stop it ever since.

Despite government claims to the contrary, heres why PRISM and Upstream are “mass surveillance”:

(1) Breadth of acquisition: First, the scope of collection under both PRISM and Upstream surveillance is exceedingly broad. The NSA acquires hundreds of millions, if not billions, of communications under these programs annually.[7] Although, in the U.S. governments view, the programs are nominally “targeted,” that targeting sweeps so broadly that the communications of innocent third parties are inevitably and intentionally vacuumed up in the process. For example, a review of a “large cache of intercepted conversations” provided by Edward Snowden and analyzed by the Washington Post revealed that 9 out of 10 account holders “were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.”[8] The material reviewed by the Post consisted of 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant message conversations, 7,900 documents (including “medical records sent from one family member to another, resumes from job hunters and academic transcripts of schoolchildren”), and more than 5,000 private photos.[9] In all, the cache revealed the “daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted [but were] catalogued and recorded nevertheless.”[10] The Post estimated that, at the U.S. governments annual rate of “targeting,” collection under Section 702 would encompass more than 900,000 user accounts annually. By any definition, this is “mass surveillance.”

(2) Indiscriminate full-content searching. Second, in the course of accomplishing its so-called “targeted” Upstream surveillance, the U.S. government, in part through its agent AT&T, indiscriminately searches the contents of billions of Internet communications as they flow through the nations domestic, fiber-optic Internet backbone. This type of surveillance, known as “about surveillance,” involves the NSA’s retention of communications that are neither to nor from a target of surveillance; rather, it authorizes the NSA to obtain any communications “about” the target.[11] Even if the acquisition of communications containing information “about” a surveillance target could, somehow, still be considered “targeted,” the method for accomplishing that surveillance cannot be: “about” surveillance entails a content search of all, or substantially all, international Internet communications transiting the United States.[12] Again, by any definition, Upstream surveillance is “mass surveillance.” For PRISM, while less is known, it seems the government is able to search throughor require the companies like Google and Facebook to search throughall the customer data stored by the corporations for communications to or from its targets.

To accomplish Upstream surveillance, the NSA copies (or has its agents like AT&T copy) Internet traffic as it flows through the fiber-optic backbone. This copying, even if the messages are only retained briefly, matters under the law. Under U.S. constitutional law, when the federal government “meaningfully interferes”with an individuals protected communications, those communications have been “seized” for purposes of the U.S. Constitutions Fourth Amendment. Thus, when the U.S. government copies (or has copied) communications wholesale and diverts them for searching, it has “seized” those communications under the Fourth Amendment.

Similarly, U.S. wiretapping law triggers a wiretap at the point of “interception by a device,” which occurs when the Upstream mechanisms gain access to our communications.[13]

Why does the government insist that its targeted? For Upstream, it may be because the initial collection and searching of the communicationsdone by service providers like AT&T on the governments behalfis really, really fast and much of the information initially collected is then quickly disposed of. In this way the Upstream collection is unlike the telephone records collection where the NSA kept all of the records it seized for years. Yet this difference should not change the conclusion that the surveillance is “mass surveillance.” First, all communications flowing through the collection points upstream are seized and searched, including content and metadata. Second, as noted above, the amount of information retainedover 250 million Internet communications per yearis astonishing.

Thus, regardless of the time spent, the seizure and search are comprehensive and invasive. Using advanced computers, the NSA and its agents can do a full-text, content search within a blink of an eye through billions, if not trillions of your communications, including emails, social media, and web searches. Second, as demonstrated above, the government retains a huge amount of the communicationsfar more about innocent people than about its targetsso even based on what is retained the surveillance is better described as “mass” rather than “targeted.”

So it is completely correct to characterize Section 702 as mass surveillance. It stems from the confluence of: (1) the method NSA employs to accomplish its surveillance, particularly Upstream, and (2) the breadth of that surveillance.

Next time you see the government or its supporters claim that PRISM and Upstream are “targeted” surveillance programs, youll know better.

[1] See, e.g., Charlie Savage, NSA Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S., N.Y. Times (Aug 8, 2013) (The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans e-mail and text communications into and out of the country[.]). This article describes an NSA practice known as about surveillancea practice that involves searching the contents of communications as they flow through the nations fiber-optic Internet backbone.

[2] FISA Court Opinion by Judge Bates entitled [Caption Redacted], at 29 (NSA acquires more than two hundred fifty million Internet communications each year pursuant to Section 702), (Hereinafter, Bates Opinion). According to the PCLOB report, the current number is significantly higher than 250 million communications. PCLOB Report on 702 at 116.

[3] Bates Opinion at 29; PCLOB at 116.

[6] First, the Bush Administration relied solely on broad claims of Executive power, grounded in secret legal interpretations written by the Department of Justice. Many of those interpretations were subsequently abandoned by later Bush Administration officials. Beginning in 2006, DOJ was able to turn to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to sign off on its surveillance programs. In 2007, Congress finally stepped into the game, passing the Protect America Act; which, a year later, was substantially overhauled and passed again as the FISA Amendments Act. While neither of those statutes mention the breadth of the surveillance and it was not discussed publicly during the Congressional processes, both have been cited by the government as authorizing it.

[11] Bates Opinion at 15.

[12] PCLOB report at 119-120.

[13] See 18 U.S.C 2511(1)(a); U.S. v. Councilman, 418 F.3d 67, 70-71, 79 (1st Cir. 2005) (en banc).

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Word Games: What the NSA Means by Targeted Surveillance …

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The Published Data of Robert Munafo at MROB

Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:47 am

xkcd readers: RIES page is here

My resume (a bit untraditional, like me).

More pages and topics, grouped by subject:

Dice : Links to examples of all known types of dice, mainly organised by number of sides; and lists of tabletop games telling which dice are used for each.

Exponentially Distributed Dice : Dice to roll random numbers whose logarithms are evenly distributed. Benford: It’s Not Just the Law It’s How We Roll.

Formal Power Series algorithms (for now, just the square root)

Generating Functions are discussed in the context of decimal expansions of fractions like 1/98 = 0.0102040816…

How Many Squares : One of the more popular types of mathematical troll-bait.

Hypercalc is my “calculator that cannot overflow”, available as a web app and a more powerful Perl version for UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X and Cygwin.

Integer Sequences : I have many pages on specific integer sequences like A181785 and A020916 (some of which required quite specialized high-speed programs); pages on sequence categories like 2nd-order linear recurrence and Narayana numbers; and a sorted table of sequences I find interesting, with links to these and many other pages.

Large Numbers : The -illion names, tetration and faster-growing functions, Graham’s number, and other fascinating ways to go far beyond the merely astronomical.

Lucas Garron’s “Three Indistinguishable Dice” Problem : a fun little puzzle involving how to make better use of a basically useless three-dice-in-a-box thingy. As seen on Numberphile.

mcsfind : A program that will find the simplest recurrence-generated integer sequence given some initial terms.

Minimally Complex Sequences : An exhaustive index of integer sequences generated by simple “classical” formulas.

My Laws of Mathematics : Kinda humorous, kinda serious.

Numbers : Notable properties of specific numbers, like 2.685452…, 107, and 45360.

Puzzles : Not always mathematical, but those are the ones that I seem to discuss more often. MIT Mystery Hunt stuff is here too.

Riemann Zeta Function MP3 File : Music that only a number theorist would love…

Rubik’s Cube and Other Rectangular Delights : My unique solution algorithms from 1982, some software, and a survey of similar puzzles like the 223.

Sloandora : An interactive browser for the OEIS, using a text concordance metric.

Computational Science :

I discovered that the Gray-Scott system supports patterns about as complex as those in Conway’s Game of Life. This page links to the paper I wrote and the talk I gave on the same topic.

“Popular” Science :

Orrery : A solar system model built from LEGO parts.

Size Scales Exhibit : An adapted and improved version of the AMNH Rose Center exhibit.

Slide Rules : Notes about slide rules and photos of ones I made myself.

Solar System : Some facts and figures about the planets and their orbits.

Tides : A step-by-step explanation of the tides, designed to explain all the differences that occur from one day to the next and from one location to another.

Here are most of the topics that will not be obsolete with [company]’s next release of [product].

Alternative Number Systems : A list of the most popular alternatives to fixed-point (integer) and floating-point representations, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Answers to Questions on Stack Exchange Sites : I couldn’t add corrections or comments directly, so I have published them here.

automeme : A tool for the automatic generation of “mad-libs” style texts, with a simple and powerful specification language.

Diameter-Degree or “TTL” problem : a graph theory problem related to wiring multi-processor computer networks.

Floating-Point Formats : A list of the ranges and precisions of various floating-point implementations over the years.

Functional Computation : A set of recursive definitions starting with a minimal set of LISP-like functions, and specifically related to work of Turing and Gdel.

My High-Performance Projects : Just a brief summary of all the CPU-intensive projects I’ve created over the years, from Z80 assembly-language to the present.

Hypercalc : The calculator that doesn’t overflow. Available as a JavaScript web application courtesy of Kenny TM~ Chan, and in a standalone Perl version that supports 295-digit precision and is programmable in BASIC.

LogCPU : a simple, very efficient load monitor for MacOS X. (This is in the general CS category because it is a good example of elegant display and UI)

Minimal RNN Implementation in Python : A recurrent neural network that models plain text, based on this gist by @karpathy, but greatly enhanced.

MIRA : A text-only web browser with unique features, designed for scholars and others who conduct research on the Internet.

Perl scripts : The language of choice of those who have that occasional “hankerin’ for some hackerin'”

png-csum-fix : Program that recomputes the CRCs in a PNG file; also allows changing colour table (palette) entries on the fly.

Programming Languages : An automated survey of the popularity of various computer languages.

RHTF : The “embarassingly-readable” markup language I created for these webpages.

SimpleGet : A small stand-alone replacement for the perl library LWP::Simple.

The SPEC Benchmarks : Conversion formulas for the industry-standard CPU benchmarks.

This QR does not loop.

Items in this section are brand-specific, dated, and/or purely recreational.

Apple II Colors : An exact calculation of the RGB values of the lores (COLOR=) and hires (HCOLOR=) colors on the Apple ][, derived by converting through the Y R-Y B-Y and YUV systems.

Apple Product History : List of computer and PDA models released by Apple, some with details.

Chip’s Challenge : Maps and hints, and some walkthroughs, for the Atari Lynx version of the videogame.

Computer History : The history of the development of computers, with a focus on performance issues and the adoption of supercomputer design ideas into desktop machines.

The Eden World Builder File Format : Eden World Builder is a Minecraft-like game for iOS. I worked out the internal data format so I could print maps.

Eden World Builder : Other pages about Eden World Builder, including a change log and versions of my main creation Mega City Tokyo Unified.

Fitbit Flex : Technical specifications, a list of the flashing light patterns, and some instructions that should have been included in the manual.

iBook: How to Prevent Sleep : A simple, cheap and reversible way to prevent the iBook from going to sleep when you close the lid.

LibreOffice Bugs and Workarounds : Making a great free software project slightly greater.

The Lunacraft/Mooncraft File Format : Lunacraft, originally called Mooncraft is a Minecraft-like game for iOS. I worked out the internal data format so I could print maps and recover from the dreaded “terrain regen bug”.

Lynx Chip’s Challenge : My maps and hints rendered with a custom font.

MacBook Pro : mainly concerned with hard drive upgrades.

Missile : My first Macintosh program also happens to be one of the few programs that ran from the Mac’s introduction in 1984 until the switch to Intel twenty years later.

Playstation : My notes about Sony Playstation games.

Q04B : Based on 2048, with color graphics, boosts, and a lot more (artwork by Randall Munroe).

SDRAM : A list of some older SDRAM chip types giving their speed and size.

TextEdit: Fixing the Margins Bug : How to alter TextEdit’s printing code so that it respects the margins from Page Setup.

UNIX Project Build Tools : A partial history of the tools (cc, make, etc.) used to build from source and why it keeps getting more and more complicated.

xapple2 : My modifications to add accurate sound reproduction (/dev/audio) to the xapple2 Apple ][ emulator for UN*X and Linux.

Abbreviations : Common phrases that are frequently made obscure by abbreviation.

Archetypes : A Periodic Table of Jungian personality archetypes.

Associativity Matrix : A little twisty maze of thoughts, all different.

Blogs : In addition to my primary blog, Robert Munafo’s General Weblog, I also have two blogs hosted by blog-specific websites: Robert Munafo on Blogspot and Robert Munafo on WordPress.

Core Values : An attempt to describe my preferences for how to prioritise life and make decisions (thus, highly subjective and in need of continual revision).

Data : Miscellaneous small bits of data I want to publish.

Experimental page : For my experiments with HTML and JavaScript (it’s published mainly so I can check it from gatewayed ISP’s like AOL and WebTV, and limited viewers like smartphones).

Extropianism : Why we shouldn’t feel quite so bad about the future.

Filk : Some funny lyrics I’ve written.

Friends : Links to Web pages of various friends and co-conspirators.

Gearing Ideas and Notes : Mosty related to my orrery work.

General Blog : A weblog of articles not limited to any particular topic.

History of Music : Focusing on the industrialized distribution of music as a recent and unnatural phenomenon.

Index to the One True Thread : Silliness and serious creativity for hopelessly obsessed xkcd fans.

Linux rules : Duh.

Mamma Mia : The Broadway musical.

MBTI : A Karnaugh map of the Myers-Briggs personality types

Mispronounced Words : My bid for the “most useless collection of data on a web page” world record.

MIT OCW 18.06SC errata : Has several corrections and a cross-reference guide to the newer textbook by Prof. Strang.

Movies : Some material I have written that relates to a few movies. (See also the Top Movies list.)

Nest Thermostat: Using Auxiliary Heat : One of the many topics that are poorly documented on the official website.

Non-Obvious Answers to the Stupid Problems Life Gives Us : like how to find a practical lid-wrench.

Non-Obvious Answers to the Senseless Impediments Google Throws at Us : pretty much what it says on the tin.

Pod People : from Apple Customers to Werewolves organized and classified for your amusement and as a public service.

PVC Espas : A musical instrument I have built.

SAMPA : A clear concise way to represent phonetics in ASCII.

South Park on the Gun Debate, Without Blood or Bullets : Fan fiction written for early 2013.

Split Sleep : Sleeping twice per day for greater efficiency

Top Movies : My list of top movies of all time, rated by attendance (number of tickets sold) in U.S. theatres.

xkcd 1190 “Time” : discussion forum index

You do.

The following links represent projects that I lost interest in.

Apple Computer : Notes about the company and its history (currently just covers the “1984” commercial)

Follow this link:

The Published Data of Robert Munafo at MROB

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Space Exploration – U.S. Scouting Service Project

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:16 am

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See the original post here:

Space Exploration – U.S. Scouting Service Project

Posted in Space Exploration | Comments Off on Space Exploration – U.S. Scouting Service Project

Nanotech – Research

Posted: at 10:15 am

Details Created: 13 December 2013

[This Nanotech West Lab Research News article was contributed by the group of Prof. Ron Reano, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and ElectroScience Laboratory, of The Ohio State University]

Silicon photonics is a promising approach for chip-scale integrated optics. A single-mode silicon strip waveguide designed for operation in the infrared, for example, has a typical submicron cross-section of 450 nm x 250 nm. Highly confined optical modes allow for high density integration and waveguide bends with micrometer scale radii of curvature. The high confinement, however, also produces major challenges when attempting to efficiently couple light between silicon strip waveguides and optical fibers. Mode conversion from a single-mode fiber, with mode field diameter equal to 10 micrometers, results in a coupling loss that is greater than 20 dB. Current methods designed to achieve efficient fiber-to-chip coupling generally involve edge coupling using inverse width tapered waveguides or surface coupling using grating couplers. Inverse width tapers enable low loss and broadband edge coupling but require dicing or cleaving the chip. Alternatively, grating couplers enable light coupling via the surface of the chip without the need for cleaving. They require, however, a tradeoff between bandwidth and efficiency.

Read more: Cantilever Couplers for Low-loss Fiber Coupling to Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits

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10 Steps to Prepare for Americas Economic Collapse

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm

By Raymond Drake*

A frenetic intemperanceis destabilizing our economy. It is a restless, explosive and relentless drive inside man. It seeks to throw off all legitimate restraints and gratify all disordered passions.

The Troubles We Now Face

Because of frenetic intemperance, our economy is coming apart under crushing debt obligations: personal, corporate, state and local government, out-of-control federal spending and debt, runaway trade deficits, a manufacturing base that has largely moved off-shore, and a wobbly dollar whose currency reserve status is increasingly challenged around the world. Crippling socialist regulations, laws, and taxes stifle businesses and individuals alike, squashing initiative and removing incentives to work and invest.

Free Book:Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian SocietyWhere Weve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go

No one expects a house without a foundation to survive a hurricane. Likewise, it is unreasonable to expect that, as the winds resulting from decades of profligate, irresponsible behavior reach gale strength, our society will withstand their destructive power.

Will America Survive? The crumbling of the American way of life does not necessarily mean the end of America. We must pray, work and trust in God that from the debris of our crumbling society, a new America will arise an America of faith and family, service and honor.

It all hinges on how we confront the coming economic collapse.

This collapse may come suddenly, or in stages, like the steps of a staircase. In either case, we must be prepared.

Drawn from John Horvats ground-breaking book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian SocietyWhere Weve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go,here are 10Steps that will help you and your family.

1. Stand Your Ground In face of the crisis, some suggest we flee to Americas remote recesses or move abroad. This is wrong, for the world is so interconnected and interdependent today that the crisis will reach us, one way or another. More importantly, now is the time to fight for America, not abandon her.

Wherever you live and whatever your occupation, you must stand your ground, fighting for the common good of the nation legally and peacefully.

2. Reject False Solutions False solutions abound. Know them and reject them. False solutions from the Left include: the push for more socialism, the surrender of our sovereignty to international courts, the move toward global government, and sub-consumerist, neo-tribal, and ecological ideologies. False solutions from the Right include a quasi-anarchical aversion to government, the nullification movement, secessionism, and off-the-grid survivalism. 3. Prepare with Prudence Prudence is the virtue whereby we choose the adequate means to achieve our goal.In confronting a crisis, we often find it easier to focus on the practical measures. Certainly these are not to be neglected, but assembling the spiritual means that will help tackle troubles ahead is more important.

For this, you must strengthen your faith, fortify your principles, and reinforce your convictions. Start this prudent preparation with prayer and calm, reasoned reflection. It will make your principles solid and your attachment to our institutions firm. Only profound and solid reasons will sustain you in the hard, long struggle.

4. Examine Lifestyles and Personal Habits The movement to turn America around starts within each of us, on the individual plane. Since frenetic intemperance and selfish individualism are at the root of our socio-economic troubles, we must resolutely oppose them in our personal lives.

This means eliminating certain habits and lifestyles, for example: spending beyond your means or on fads and fashions; making unwise, even reckless investments; being swept away by stress-filled schedules; allowing the frenzy of technological gadgetry to dominate your life; puttingmoneyabove family, community or religion; preferring quantityoverquality; and having an aversion to leisure and reflection.

5. Ponder the Moral Dimension Frenetic intemperance is rooted in selfish unrestraint. It fosters individualism, whereby God and neighbor are shut out from the imagined universe we create for ourselves. But Saint John teaches: [H]e that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not? (1John 4:20). How very different is the guiding principle preached and lived by Our Divine Savior: Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Through the generous giving of self we eradicate frenetic intemperance and selfish individualism from our lives.

Whatever Americas economic collapse entails for you and your family, developing the habit of self-sacrifice is excellent spiritual preparation. Indeed, this dedication to others and to the common good, this true charity, has sustained every Christian society for 2,000 years.

6. It Takes a Family Parents correctly see their children as extensions of themselves and sacrifice for them. In turn, children feel compelled by the ties of nature to love, honor, and sacrifice for their parents who collaborated with God to give them their existence. These bonds of affection and service tend naturally to expand, moving beyond the nuclear to the extended family: grandparents, cousins, uncles, and so on.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum correctly noted that, It takes a family. The family is a powerful and affectionate social safety net, and can provide many of the services usurped by the cold modern State. As an economic entity, the family tends to create patterns of production and consumption different from the flawed individualist model of today.

From the economic standpoint, the temperate structures of family tradition protect men from cut-throat competition. The predatory influence of usury is lessened since many have recourse to the family in times of need.

Your familys loving ambience is the easiest place for you to practice Christian charity.

7. It Takes a Village From her perch on the Left, Hillary Clinton wrote that, It takes a village. This is perhaps the one point where we agree with her, though the underlying spirit is different. Hers is a socialist outlook, ours must be Christian.

We see the spirit of the family mirrored in associations and communities, towns and cities. These intermediate bodies between the family and the State are open to the temperate spirit of the family, which radiates its benevolent influence outwards.

This same family spirit has such a capacity to absorb and integrate that everyone in a region, even outside elements, eventually share a common family-like mentality, temperament and affection. A person from the South, for example, participates in the great Southern family or, to extend the analogy further, in our great American family.

Love your community. Be involved. Be proud of the good traits, traditions, products and cultural achievements of your region and do whatever you can to develop them further. Help others see the blessings God placed in your region.

8. It Takes a Christian State This sentiment of affection is in fact the most important element of union for the State. Constitutions, laws, and institutions may be indispensable unifying elements, but the most vital of all is family-like affection, without which the State is doomed to be divided against itself. So many modern states glory in their divisions! They are divided by political parties, factions, or intense economic competition. They should rather seek glory in uniting social groups, factions, and parties. Marriages should unite families, industries, regions, and nations. True patriotism is nothing but this family sentiment and common love of native land writ large and applied to all those in the same country.

The Christian State gives unity, direction, and purpose to society embracing, never absorbing; delegating, never concentrating; encouraging, never stifling.

Remain engaged in the Cultural War. Find ways to network with others and do everything you can so that our State and laws conform to the Divine and natural moral laws.

9. It Takes Fidelity Without fidelity to our Christian Baptism, competition and power struggles will inevitably occur. As a result, the family ends up being devoured by society, and society by the State.

A Christian family spirit must permeate society and State. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports, wrote George Washington in his Farewell Address. And, though he spoke some 1,600 years ago, Saint Augustines teaching remains true today:

Let those who say that the teachings of Christ are harmful to the State find armies with soldiers who live up to the standards of the teachings of Jesus. Let them provide governors, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, kings, judges, taxpayers and tax collectors who can compare to those who take Christian teachings to heart. Then let them dare to say that such teaching is contrary to the welfare of the State! Indeed, under no circumstances can they fail to realize that this teaching is the greatest safeguard of the State when faithfully observed. (Epis.138 ad Marcellinum, in Opera Omnia, vol.2, in J.P.Migne, Patrologia Latina, col.532.)

Become an apostle of this Christian spirit, helping others take it to heart in their daily lives.

10. It Takes Leadership In face of the present economic crisis, we have two groups. Those with leadership qualities who succeed fabulously in what they do. And those who seek help and direction. What is missing is a way to unite the two groups. Therefore, weneed to regenerate a culture that encourages representative figures to unify the nation and confront the crisis.

We must encourage all types of leadership that express ties of mutual trust. We should think of concrete ways how we dress, speak, and lead to become truly representative figures for those who look up to us (be they in our family, business, parish, community, region or state). This would lead us to discover ways to embrace duty, responsibility, and sacrifice and reject a misguided and selfish individualism.

With many such dedicated leaders at all levels of society, laboring for the common good, we can restore America.

You will lead in some areas (great or small) and follow in others. Honor your leadership. Show your gratitude and honor everyone in leadership.

What Is a Representative Character?

A representative character is a person who perceives the ideals, principles, and qualities that are desired and admired by a family, community or nation, and translates them into concrete programs of life and culture.

We might point to famous figures like General George Patton or those lesser known people such as self-sacrificing clergy, devoted teachers, or selfless community leaders who draw and fuse society together and set the tone for their communities. Modern culture discourages the idea of representative characters and proposes false and unrepresentative characters that correspond to our mass society.

These 10Steps to Prepare for Americas Economic Collapse give a quick insight into John Horvats 400-page book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian SocietyWhere Weve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), ISBN: 978-0-9882148-0-4. Hardbound. Illustrated. $21.95 (shipping free).

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10 Steps to Prepare for Americas Economic Collapse

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