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Tag Archives: search
Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:12 am
I recently posted a revised draft of my forthcoming article, The Effect of Legislation on Fourth Amendment Interpretation, and I thought I would blog a bit about it. The article considers a recurring question in Fourth Amendment law: When courts are called on to interpret the Fourth Amendment, and there is privacy legislation on the books that relates to the governments conduct, should the existence of legislation have any effect on how the Fourth Amendment is interpreted? And if it should have an effect, what effect should it have?
I was led to this question by reading a lot of cases in which the issue came up and was answered in very different ways by particularly prominent judges. When I assembled all the cases, I found that judges had articulated three different answers. None of the judges seemed aware that the question had come up in other cases and had been answered differently there. Each of the three answers seemed plausible, and each tapped into important traditions in constitutional interpretation. So you have a pretty interesting situation: Really smart judges were running into the same question and answering it in very different ways, each rooted in substantial traditions, with no one approach predominating and no conversation about which approach was best. It seemed like a fun issue to explore in an article.
In this post Ill summarize the three approaches courts have taken. I call the approaches influence, displacement and independence. For each approach, Ill give one illustrative case. But theres a lot more where that came from: For more details on the three approaches and the cases supporting them, please read the draft article.
1. Influence. In the influence cases, legislation is considered a possible standard for judicial adoption under the Fourth Amendment. The influence cases rest on a pragmatic judgment: If courts must make difficult judgment calls about how to balance privacy and security, and legislatures have done so already in enacting legislation, courts can draw lessons from the thoughtful judgment of a co-equal branch. Investigative legislation provides an important standard for courts to consider in interpreting the Fourth Amendment. Its not binding on courts, but its a relevant consideration.
The Supreme Courts decision in United States v. Watsonis an example of the influence approach. Watson considered whether it is constitutionally reasonable for a postal inspector to make a public arrest for a felony offense based on probable cause but without a warrant. A federal statute expressly authorized such warrantless arrests. The court ruled that the arrests were constitutional without a warrant and that the statute was constitutional. Justice Whites majority opinion relied heavily on deference to Congresss legislative judgment. According to Justice White, the statute authorizing the arrests represents a judgment by Congress that it is not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment for postal inspectors to arrest without a warrant provided they have probable cause to do so. That judgment was entitled to presumptive deference as the considered judgment of a co-equal branch. Because there is a strong presumption of constitutionality due to an Act of Congress, the court stated, especially when it turns on what is reasonable, then obviously the Court should be reluctant to decide that a search thus authorized by Congress was unreasonable and that the Act was therefore unconstitutional.
2. Displacement. In the displacement cases, the existence of legislation counsels against Fourth Amendment protection that might interrupt the statutory scheme. Because legislatures can often do a better job at balancing privacy and security in new technologies as compared to courts, courts should reject Fourth Amendment protection as long as legislatures are protecting privacy adequately to avoid interfering with the careful work of the legislative branch. The existence of investigative legislation effectively preempts the field and displaces Fourth Amendment protection that may otherwise exist.
Justice Alitos concurrence in Riley v. Californiais an example of the displacement approach. Riley held that the government must obtain a search warrant before searching a cellphone incident to a suspects lawful arrest. Justice Alito concurred, agreeing with the majority only in the absence of adequate legislation regulating cellphone searches. I would reconsider the question presented here, he wrote, if either Congress or state legislatures, after assessing the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the privacy interests of cell phone owners, enact legislation that draws reasonable distinctions based on categories of information or perhaps other variables.
The enactment of investigative legislation should discourage judicial intervention, Justice Alito reasoned, because [l]egislatures, elected by the people, are in a better position than we are to assess and respond to the changes that have already occurred and those that almost certainly will take place in the future. Although Fourth Amendment protection was necessary in the absence of legislation, the enactment of legislation might be reason to withdraw Fourth Amendment protection to avoid the very unfortunate result of federal courts using the blunt instrument of the Fourth Amendment to try to protect privacy in emerging technologies.
3. Independence. In the independence cases, courts treat legislation as irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment. Legislatures are free to supplement privacy protections by enacting statutes, of course. But from the independence perspective, legislation sheds no light on what the Fourth Amendment requires. Courts must independently interpret the Fourth Amendment, and what legislatures have done has no relevance.
An example of independence is Virginia v. Moore, where the Supreme Court decided whether the search incident to a lawful arrest exception incorporates the state law of arrest. Moore was arrested despite a state law saying his crime could not lead to arrest; the question was whether the state law violation rendered the arrest unconstitutional. According to the court, whether state law made the arrest lawful was irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment. It was the courts duty to interpret the Fourth Amendment, and what the legislature decided about when arrests could be made was a separate question. History suggested that the Fourth Amendment did not incorporate statutes. And the states decision of when to make arrests was not based on the Fourth Amendment and was based on other considerations, such as the costs of arrests and whether the legislature valued privacy more than the Fourth Amendment required. Constitutionalizing the state standard would only frustrate the states efforts to achieve those goals, as it would mean los[ing] control of the regulatory scheme and might lead the state to abandon restrictions on arrest altogether. For that reason, the statute regulating the police was independent of the Fourth Amendment standard.
Those are the three approaches. The next question is, which is best? Ill offer some thoughts on that in my next post.
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Should privacy legislation influence how courts interpret the …
Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm
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Posted: August 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm
ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (2015)
by John Wesley Hall Criminal Defense Lawyer and Search and seizure law consultant Little Rock, Arkansas Contact / The Book http://www.johnwesleyhall.com
2003-16, online since Feb. 24, 2003
Fourth Amendment cases, citations, and links
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General (many free): LexisWeb Google Scholar | Google LexisOne Legal Website Directory Crimelynx Lexis.com $ Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $ Findlaw.com Findlaw.com (4th Amd) Westlaw.com $ F.R.Crim.P. 41 http://www.fd.org FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf) DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download) DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf) Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)
Congressional Research Service: –Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012) ACLU on privacy Privacy Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation NACDLs Domestic Drone Information Center Electronic Privacy Information Center Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.) Section 1983 Blog
“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn’t, and they don’t.” Me
I still learn something new every day. Pete Townshend, The Who 50th Anniversary Tour, “The Who Live at Hyde Park” (Showtime 2015)
“I can’t talk about my singing. I’m inside it. How can you describe something you’re inside of?” Janis Joplin
“Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government.” Shemaya, in the Thalmud
“A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one’s attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced.” Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev’d Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
“The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.” Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
“Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment.” Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
“There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property.” Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
“It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment.” United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
“The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has notto put it mildlyrun smooth.” Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.” Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. … But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Governments purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
Libertythe freedom from unwarranted intrusion by governmentis as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark. United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need.” Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for meand by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” Martin Niemller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men! —Pep Le Pew
Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:17 am
On the edge of a parking lot at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, stands a relic from a time when our future as a spacefaring species looked all but inevitable, as clear and grand as a rocket ascending over Cape Canaveral.
This is not a model, NASA physicist Les Johnson says as we gaze at the 35-foot-tall assemblage of pipes, nozzles, and shielding. This is an honest-to-goodness nuclear rocket engine. Once upon a time, NASA proposed to send a dozen astronauts to Mars in two spaceships, each powered by three of these engines. Marshall director Wernher von Braun presented that plan in August 1969, just two weeks after his Saturn V rocket delivered the first astronauts to the moon. He suggested November 12, 1981, as a departure date for Mars. The nuclear engines had already passed every test on the ground. They were ready to fly.
Thirty years after the Mars landing that never was, on a humid June morning, Johnson looks wistfully at the 40,000-pound engine in front of us. He heads a small team that assesses the feasibility of advanced concepts in space technologyand NERVA, the old nuclear engine, just might qualify. If were going to send people to Mars, this should be considered again, Johnson says. You would only need half the propellant of a conventional rocket. NASA is now designing a conventional rocket to replace the Saturn V, which was retired in 1973, not long after the last manned moon landing. It hasnt decided where the new rocket will go. The NERVA project ended in 1973 too, without a flight test. Since then, during the space shuttle era, humans havent ventured more than 400 miles from Earth.
All of which might seem to make the question Johnson and I have spent the morning discussingwill humans ever travel to the stars?sound a little out of touch.
Why did it seem more reasonable half a century ago? Of course we were crazy in a way, says physicist Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In the late 1950s Dyson worked on Project Orion, which aimed to build a manned spacecraft that could go to Mars and the moons of Saturn. Instead of using nuclear reactors to spew superheated hydrogen, as NERVA did, the Orion spacecraft would have dropped small nuclear bombs out the back every quarter of a second or so and surfed on the fireballs. It would have been enormously risky, says Dyson, who planned to go to Saturn himself. We were prepared for that. The mood then was totally different. The idea of a risk-free adventure just didnt make sense. A few years after Orion ended, Dyson outlined in Physics Today how a bomb-powered spacecraft might travel to a star.
These days its easier to outline why well never go. Stars are too far away; we dont have the money. The reasons why we might go anyway are less obviousbut theyre getting stronger. Astronomers have detected planets around many nearby stars; soon theyre bound to find one thats Earthlike and in the sweet spot for life, and in that instant theyll create a compelling destination. Our technology too is far more capable than it was in the 1960s; atom bombs arent cutting-edge anymore. In his office that morning, Les Johnson handed me what looked like a woven swatch of cobwebs. It was actually a carbon-fiber fabric sample for a giant spaceship sailone that might carry a probe beyond Pluto on rays of sunlight or laser beams. Be very careful with it, Johnson said. This is a material that might help us get there.
To get to the stars, well need many new materials and engines but also a few of the old intangibles. They havent vanished. In fact, they almost seem to be bursting forth again in the imaginative space vacated by the space shuttle, which in 2011 joined the Saturn V as a museum exhibit. In the conversation of certain dreamer-nerds, especially outside NASA, you can now hear echoes of the old aspiration and adventurousnessof the old craziness for space.
Last spring, three weeks before I met with Johnson, SpaceX, a private company based near Los Angeles, used one of its own rockets to launch an unmanned capsule that docked with the International Space Station. SpaceX leads several other companies in the race to replace the shuttle as the space stations supply ship. A month before that, a company called Planetary Resources, backed by billionaire investors such as Googles Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, announced plans to use robotic spacecraft to mine asteroids for precious metals. Working with Virgin Galactic, a company whose main business is space tourism, Planetary Resources expects within the next year or two to launch a lightweight telescope into low Earth orbit. We hope by the end of the decade that we will have identified our initial targets and begun prospecting, says Peter Diamandis, the firms co-founder.
Were going to look back at this decade as the dawn of the commercial space age, says Mason Peck, NASAs chief technologist. Its about companies large and small finding ways to make a market out of space. The energy we see nowthe economic motivation to go into spacewe havent seen that before.
Economics has long spurred exploration on Earth. Medieval merchants risked the hazards of the Silk Road to reach the markets of China; Portuguese caravels in the 15th century sailed beyond the bounds of the known world, searching less for knowledge than for gold and spices. Historically, the driver for opening frontiers has always been the search for resources, says Diamandis. Science and curiosity are weak drivers compared with wealth generation. The only way to really open up space is to create an economic engine, and that engine is resource extraction.
One resource he and co-founder Eric Anderson have their eyes on is platinum, so rare on Earth that it currently fetches $1,600 an ounce. Sending robots a million miles or more to extract and refine ore on asteroids in near-zero gravity, or to tow an asteroid closer to Earth, will require technology that doesnt yet exist. Theres a significant probability that we may fail, Anderson said at the press conference in April. But we believe that attempting this and moving the needle for space is important. Of course we hope to make a lot of money.
Elon Musk, the 41-year-old founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, has already made a lot of money, and he is devoting a sizable portion of that fortune to his own space program. The new rocket SpaceX is developing, the Falcon Heavy, will be capable of carrying twice the payload of the space shuttle, he says, for about one-fifth the price. His goal is to reduce launch costs by a further factor of 50 or 100, to $10 to $20 a pound, by developing the first fully reusable rockets. This is extremely difficult, and most people think its impossible, but I do not, Musk says. If airplanes had to be thrown away after every flight, no one would fly.
For Musk, its all part of a much grander plan: establishing a permanent human colony on Mars. NASA has had enormous success on Mars with unmanned rovers, most recently Curiosity, but has repeatedly pushed back a manned mission. Musk thinks SpaceX could land astronauts on Mars within 20 yearsand then keep landing them for decades after that.
The real thing thats needed is not to send one little mission to Mars, he says. Its ultimately to take millions of people and millions of tons of equipment to Mars to make it a self-sustaining civilization. It will be the hardest thing humanity has ever done, and its far from certain that it will occur.
I should emphasize this is not about escaping Earth. Its about making life multiplanetary. Its about getting out there and exploring the stars.
The fastest spacecraft ever builtthe Helios 2 probe, launched in 1976 to monitor the sunattained a top speed of 157,000 miles an hour. At that rate, a spacecraft headed to Proxima Centauri, the nearest star, would take more than 17,000 years to make the 24-trillion-mile journey, a temporal span equal to the one that separates us from Cro-Magnon cave painters. Those inescapable facts lead even some of the staunchest advocates of human spaceflight to conclude that interstellar travel, aside from robotic probes, will remain forever in the realm of science fiction. Its Mars or nowhere, says Louis Friedman, an astronautics engineer and one of the founders of the Planetary Society, a space-exploration advocacy group.
Some scientists, however, find the prospect of eternal confinement to two small planets in a vast galaxy just too depressing to contemplate. If we start now, and we have started, I believe we can achieve some form of interstellar exploration within a hundred years, says Andreas Tziolas. A physicist and former NASA researcher, Tziolas is a leader of Icarus Interstellar, a nonprofit organization that aims, as its mission statement says, to realize interstellar flight before the year 2100. It is now collaborating with former shuttle astronaut Mae Jemison. In early 2012 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded her $500,000 for something called the 100 Year Starship project. Our task is not to launch a starship but to make sure the technologies and abilities exist within the next hundred years to do that, Jemison says.
Tziolas thinks we could develop a starship engine that harnesses nuclear fusion, the energy source of stars and hydrogen bombs. When the nuclei of small atoms such as hydrogen fuse, they release enormous energymuch more than is released by the nuclear fission of large atoms such as uranium, the energy source of nuclear power plants and of the old NERVA. While physicists have built fusion reactors, they havent yet found a way to make one that yields more energy than it consumes. I have faith in our ingenuity, Tziolas says. Only seven decades elapsed between the discovery of subatomic particles and NERVA, he points out; by 2100, he thinks, we should be able to create a fusion engine that could propel a starship to a top speed of 15 to 20 percent of the speed of light.
That would allow it to reach the nearest star in another few decadesif its machinery could last that long. Twenty years is getting near the upper limit for how long you can design a spacecraft to reliably operate, says Les Johnson. NASA asked Johnson to look into a 20-year mission, not to a star but to the edge of interstellar spaceto the region known as the heliopause, several times as far as Pluto, where the suns influence is balanced by that of other stars. The thought was, you dont want to immediately start talking about going to the nearest star, says Johnson. Its over four light-years away. Its just … daunting, unfathomable. Johnsons task was to plan a realistic mission with a technology thats at least close to existinga first small step toward the stars.
Right now, fusion engines arent close to existing; a nuclear engine like NERVA would be too expensive; chemical rockets might reach the heliopause but could never carry enough fuel to reach a star in a reasonable amount of time. (The Voyager spacecraft, were it headed the right way, would drift by Proxima Centauri in 74,000 years.) In the end Johnsons team settled on the most evocative technology: a solar sail. Sunlight, like all light, consists of particles called photons, which exert pressure on everything they touch. At Earths distance from the sun, the pressure is only about a tenth of an ounce spread over a football field. But a large, thin sheet of reflective fabric, unfurled in the vacuum of space, will feel this gentle force and will slowly accelerate.
NASA launched a 110-square-foot light sail in 2010 that survived for several months in low Earth orbit. It hopes to launch a sail in 2014 that measures a bit under a third of an acre and weighs just 70 pounds. Movable vanes on the corners will allow ground control to maneuver the Sunjammer, which on its yearlong mission will tack some two million miles upwind toward the sun. A 16-billion-mile mission to the heliopause would require a disk-shaped sail 1,500 feet in diameter. After a year or two of sailing, the spacecraft would exceed 100,000 miles an hour.
Proxima Centauri lies 1,500 times farther still. To sail to another star, Johnson says, well need a sail the size of Alabama and Mississippi combined. We dont know how to build that yet. Whats more, sunlight alone couldnt push the sail to the star within a human lifetime, or even many lifetimes; youd need powerful space-based lasers. If you take the total energy output of humanity and put it in a laser on a satellite, says Johnson, then you could get trip times of a few decades to Proxima Centauri. And thats to send a robot the size of Johnsons desk.
What about humans, with their need for 24/7 life support? Johnson throws up his hands. When you start thinking about what it takes to supply people, he says, and how big the spacecraft would have to be and how much energy it would have to have, you enter the realm of science fiction.
To build a starship, you first have to build a future that converts fiction into fact, and that takes a lot more than rocket science. The task isnt figuring out right now how to design a starship; its continuing to build the civilization that will one day build a starship. Framed like that, more expansively, it begins to seem less impossible. But its a 100-year project or maybe a 500-year project, depending on your craziness level. Johnsons level is lowish.
I dont know what the world will be like in 500 years, he says. If we have fusion power plants, and space-based solar panels beaming energy down, and were mining the moon and have an industrial base in low Earth orbitmaybe a civilization like that could do it. Well have to be a civilization that spans the solar system before we can think about taking an interstellar voyage.
Posted: at 2:17 am
July 18, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
More than a hundred explorers, scientists and government officials will gather at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific on Friday to draft a blueprint to solve a deep blue problem: About 95% of the world’s oceans remains unexplored. The invitation-only forum , hosted by the aquarium and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, aims to identify priorities, technologies and collaborative strategies that could advance understanding of the uncharted mega-wilderness that humans rely on for oxygen, food, medicines, commerce and recreation.
June 12, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Dancer , rapper , and, oh yeah, Man on the Moon Buzz Aldrin is talking, but are the right people listening? One of the original moonwalkers (Michael Jackson always did it backwards! Aldrin complained) challenged the United States to pick up the space slack Tuesday evening, mere hours after China sent three astronauts into orbit. Speaking in front of a friendly crowd of 880 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Aldrin criticized the U.S. for not adequately leading the international community in space exploration, and suggested that we bump up our federal investment in space while still encouraging the private sector’s efforts.
February 2, 2013 | By Holly Myers
It will come as news to many, no doubt, that there is a Warhol on the moon. And a Rauschenberg and an Oldenburg – a whole “Moon Museum,” in fact, containing the work of six artists in all, in the form of drawings inscribed on the surface of a ceramic chip roughly the size of a thumbprint. Conceived by the artist Forrest Myers in 1969, the chip was fabricated in collaboration with scientists at Bell Laboratories and illicitly slipped by a willing engineer between some sheets of insulation on the Apollo 12 lander module.
January 29, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Ramin Mostaghim, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BEIRUT – U.S. officials are not exactly welcoming Iran’s revelation this week that the Islamic Republic has sent a monkey into space and brought the creature back to Earth safely. The report by Iranian media recalled for many the early days of space flight, when both the United States and the Soviet Union launched animal-bearing spacecraft as a prelude to human space travel. But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington on Monday that the reported mission raises concerns about possible Iranian violations of a United Nations ban on development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2012 | By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times
WATERTON CANYON, Colo. – The concrete-floored room looks, at first glance, like little more than a garage. There is a red tool chest, its drawers labeled: “Hacksaws. ” “Allen wrenches. ” There are stepladders and vise grips. There is also, at one end of the room, a half-built spaceship, and everyone is wearing toe-to-fingertip protective suits. “Don’t. Touch. Anything. ” Bruce Jakosky says the words politely but tautly, like a protective father – which, effectively, he is. Jakosky is the principal investigator behind NASA’s next mission to Mars, putting him in the vanguard of an arcane niche of science: planetary protection – the science of exploring space without messing it up. PHOTOS: Stunning images of Earth at night As NASA pursues the search for life in the solar system, the cleanliness of robotic explorers is crucial to avoid contaminating other worlds.
December 6, 2012 | By Amina Khan and Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Years of trying to do too many things with too little money have put NASA at risk of ceding leadership in space exploration to other nations, according to a new report that calls on the space agency to make wrenching decisions about its long-term strategy and future scope. As other countries – including some potential adversaries – are investing heavily in space, federal funding for NASA is essentially flat and under constant threat of being cut. Without a clear vision, that fiscal uncertainty makes it all the more difficult for the agency to make progress on ambitious goals like sending astronauts to an asteroid or Mars while executing big-ticket science missions, such as the $8.8-billion James Webb Space Telescope, says the analysis released Wednesday by the National Research Council.
Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm
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Posted: July 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm
The phrase Artificial Intelligence was first coined by John McCarthy four decades ago. One representative definition is pivoted around comparing intelligent machines with human beings. Another definition is concerned with the performance of machines which historically have been judged to lie within the domain of intelligence.
Yet none of these definitions have been universally accepted, probably because the reference of the word intelligence which is an immeasurable quantity. A better definition of artificial intelligence, and probably the most accurate would be: An artificial system capable of planning and executing the right task at the right time rationally. Or far simpler: a machine that can act rationally.
With all this a common questions arises:
Does rational thinking and acting include all characteristics of an intelligent system?
If so, how does it represent behavioral intelligence such as learning, perception and planning?
If we think a little, a system capable of reasoning would be a successful planner. Moreover, a system can act rationally only after acquiring knowledge from the real world. So the property of perception is a perquisite of building up knowledge from the real world.
With all this we may conclude that a machine that lacks of perception cannot learn, therefore cannot acquire knowledge.
To understand the practical meaning or artificial intelligence we must illustrate some common problems. All problems that are dealt with artificial intelligence solutions use the common term state.
A state represents the status of a solution at a given step during the problem solving procedure. The solution of a problem is a collection of states. The problem solving procedure or algorithm applies an operator to a state to get the next state. Then, it applies another operator to the resulting state to derive a new state.
The process of applying operators to each state is continued until a desired goal is achieved.
Example : Consider a 4-puzzle problem, where in a 4-cell board there are 3 cells filled with digits and 1 blank cell. The initial state of the game represents a particular orientation of the digits in the cells and the final state to be achieved is another orientation supplied to the game player. The problem of the game is to reach from the given initial state to the goal (final) state, if possible, with a minimum of moves. Let the initial and the final state be as shown in figures 1(a) and (b) respectively.
We now define two operations, blank-up (BU) / blank-down (BD) and blank-left (BL) / blank-right (BR), and the state-space (tree) for the problem is presented below using these operators. The algorithm for the above kind of problems is straightforward. It consists of three steps, described by steps 1, 2(a) and 2(b) below.
Algorithm for solving state-space problems
It is clear that the main trick in solving problems by the state-space approach is to determine the set of operators and to use it at appropriate states of the problem.
Researchers in artificial intelligence have segregated the AI problems from the non-AI problems. Generally, problems, for which straightforward mathematical / logical algorithms are not readily available and which can be solved by intuitive approach only, are called AI problems.
The 4-puzzle problem, for instance, is an ideal AI Problem. There is no formal algorithm for its realization, i.e., given a starting and a goal state, one cannot say prior to execution of the tasks the sequence of steps required to get the goal from the starting state. Such problems are called the ideal AI problems.
The well known water-jug problem, the Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP), and the n-Queen problem are typical examples of the classical AI problems.
Among the non-classical AI problems, the diagnosis problems and the pattern classification problem need special mention. For solving an AI problem, one may employ both artificial intelligence and non-AI algorithms. An obvious question is: what is an AI algorithm?
Formally speaking, an artificial intelligence algorithm generally means a non-conventional intuitive approach for problem solving. The key to artificial intelligence approach is intelligent search and matching. In an intelligent search problem / sub-problem, given a goal (or starting) state, one has to reach that state from one or more known starting (or goal) states.
For example, consider the 4-puzzle problem, where the goal state is known and one has to identify the moves for reaching the goal from a pre-defined starting state. Now, the less number of states one generates for reaching the goal, the better. That is the AI algorithm.
The question that then naturally arises is: how to control the generation of states?
This can be achieved by suitably designing control strategies, which would filter a few states only from a large number of legal states that could be generated from a given starting / intermediate state.
As an example, consider the problem of proving a trigonometric identity that children are used to doing during their schooldays. What would they do at the beginning? They would start with one side of the identity, and attempt to apply a number of formula there to find the possible resulting derivations.
But they wont really apply all the formula there. Rather, they identify the right candidate formula that fits there, such that the other side of the identity that seems to be closer in some sense (outlook). Ultimately, when the decision regarding the selection of the formula is over, they apply it to one side (say the L.H.S) of the identity and derive the new state.
Therefore, they continue the process and go on generating new intermediate states until the R.H.S (goal) is reached. But do they always select the right candidate formula at a given state? From our experience, we know the answer is not always. But what would we do if we find that after generation of a few states, the resulting expression seems to be far away from the R.H.S of the identity.
Perhaps we would prefer to move to some old state, which is more promising, i.e., closer to the R.H.S of the identity. The above line of thinking has been realized in many intelligent search problems of AI.
Some of these well-known search algorithms are:
a) Generate and Test Approach : This approach concerns the generation of the state-space from a known starting state (root) of the problem and continues expanding the reasoning space until the goal node or the terminal state is reached.
In fact after generating each and every state, the generated node is compared with the known goal state. When the goal is found, the algorithm terminates. In case there exist multiple paths leading to the goal, then the path having the smallest distance from the root is preferred. The basic strategy used in this search is only generation of states and their testing for goals but it does not allow filtering of states.
(b) Hill Climbing Approach : Under this approach, one has to first generate a starting state and measure the total cost for reaching the goal from the given starting state. Let this cost be f. While f = a predefined utility value and the goal is not reached, new nodes are generated as children of the current node. However, in case all neighborhood nodes (states) yield an identical value of f and the goal is not included in the set of these nodes, the search algorithm is trapped at a hillock or local extreme.
One way to overcome this problem is to select randomly a new starting state and then continue the above search process. While proving trigonometric identities, we often use Hill Climbing, perhaps unknowingly.
(c) Heuristic Search: Classically heuristics means rule of thumb. In heuristic search, we generally use one or more heuristic functions to determine the better candidate states among a set of legal states that could be generated from a known state.
The heuristic function, in other words, measures the fitness of the candidate states. The better the selection of the states, the fewer will be the number of intermediate states for reaching the goal.
However, the most difficult task in heuristic search problems is the selection of the heuristic functions. One has to select them intuitively, so that in most cases hopefully it would be able to prune the search space correctly.
(d) Means and Ends Analysis: This method of search attempts to reduce the gap between the current state and the goal state. One simple way to explore this method is to measure the distance between the current state and the goal, and then apply an operator to the current state, so that the distance between the resulting state and the goal is reduced. In many mathematical theorem- proving processes, we use Means and Ends Analysis.
The subject of artificial intelligence spans a wide horizon. It deals with various kinds of knowledge representation schemes, different techniques of intelligent search, various methods for resolving uncertainty of data and knowledge, different schemes for automated machine learning and many others.
Among the application areas of AI, we have Expert systems, Game-playing, and Theorem-proving, Natural language processing, Image recognition, Robotics and many others. The subject of artificial intelligence has been enriched with a wide discipline of knowledge from Philosophy, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering. Thus has the figure shows, they have been referred to as the parent disciplines of AI. An at-a-glance look at fig. also reveals the subject area of AI and its application areas. Fig.: AI, its parent disciplines and application areas.
The subject of artificial intelligence was originated with game-playing and theorem-proving programs and was gradually enriched with theories from a number of parent disciplines. As a young discipline of science, the significance of the topics covered under the subject changes considerably with time. At present, the topics which we find significant and worthwhile to understand the subject are outlined below: FigA: Pronunciation learning of a child from his mother.
Learning Systems: Among the subject areas covered under artificial intelligence, learning systems needs special mention. The concept of learning is illustrated here with reference to a natural problem of learning of pronunciation by a child from his mother (vide figA). The hearing system of the child receives the pronunciation of the character A and the voice system attempts to imitate it. The difference of the mothers and the childs pronunciation, hereafter called the error signal, is received by the childs learning system auditory nerve, and an actuation signal is generated by the learning system through a motor nerve for adjustment of the pronunciation of the child. The adaptation of the childs voice system is continued until the amplitude of the error signal is insignificantly low. Each time the voice system passes through an adaptation cycle, the resulting tongue position of the child for speaking A is saved by the learning process. The learning problem discussed above is an example of the well-known parametric learning, where the adaptive learning process adjusts the parameters of the childs voice system autonomously to keep its response close enough to the sample training pattern. The artificial neural networks, which represent the electrical analogue of the biological nervous systems, are gaining importance for their increasing applications in supervised (parametric) learning problems. Besides this type, the other common learning methods, which we do unknowingly, are inductive and analogy-based learning. In inductive learning, the learner makes generalizations from examples. For instance, noting that cuckoo flies, parrot flies and sparrow flies, the learner generalizes that birds fly. On the other hand, in analogy-based learning, the learner, for example, learns the motion of electrons in an atom analogously from his knowledge of planetary motion in solar systems.
Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: In a reasoning problem, one has to reach a pre-defined goal state from one or more given initial states. So, the lesser the number of transitions for reaching the goal state, the higher the efficiency of the reasoning system. Increasing the efficiency of a reasoning system thus requires minimization of intermediate states, which indirectly calls for an organized and complete knowledge base. A complete and organized storehouse of knowledge needs minimum search to identify the appropriate knowledge at a given problem state and thus yields the right next state on the leading edge of the problem-solving process. Organization of knowledge, therefore, is of paramount importance in knowledge engineering. A variety of knowledge representation techniques are in use in Artificial Intelligence. Production rules, semantic nets, frames, filler and slots, and predicate logic are only a few to mention. The selection of a particular type of representational scheme of knowledge depends both on the nature of applications and the choice of users.
Planning: Another significant area of artificial intelligence is planning. The problems of reasoning and planning share many common issues, but have a basic difference that originates from their definitions. The reasoning problem is mainly concerned with the testing of the satisfiability of a goal from a given set of data and knowledge. The planning problem, on the other hand, deals with the determination of the methodology by which a successful goal can be achieved from the known initial states. Automated planning finds extensive applications in robotics and navigational problems, some of which will be discussed shortly.
Knowledge Acquisition: Acquisition (Elicitation) of knowledge is equally hard for machines as it is for human beings. It includes generation of new pieces of knowledge from given knowledge base, setting dynamic data structures for existing knowledge, learning knowledge from the environment and refinement of knowledge. Automated acquisition of knowledge by machine learning approach is an active area of current research in Artificial Intelligence. Intelligent Search: Search problems, which we generally encounter in Computer Science, are of a deterministic nature, i.e., the order of visiting the elements of the search space is known. For example, in depth first and breadth first search algorithms, one knows the sequence of visiting the nodes in a tree. However, search problems, which we will come across in AI, are non-deterministic and the order of visiting the elements in the search space is completely dependent on data sets. The diversity of the intelligent search algorithms will be discussed in detail later.
Logic Programming: For more than a century, mathematicians and logicians were used to designing various tools to represent logical statements by symbolic operators. One outgrowth of such attempts is propositional logic, which deals with a set of binary statements (propositions) connected by Boolean operators. The logic of propositions, which was gradually enriched to handle more complex situations of the real world, is called predicate logic. One classical variety of predicate logic-based programs is Logic Program. PROLOG, which is an abbreviation for PROgramming in LOGic, is a typical language that supports logic programs. Logic Programming has recently been identified as one of the prime area of research in AI. The ultimate aim of this research is to extend the PROLOG compiler to handle spatio-temporal models and support a parallel programming environment. Building architecture for PROLOG machines was a hot topic of the last decade.
Soft Computing: Soft computing, according to Prof. Zadeh, is an emerging approach to computing, which parallels the remarkable ability of the human mind to reason and learn in an environment of uncertainty and imprecision . It, in general, is a collection of computing tools and techniques, shared by closely related disciplines that include fuzzy logic, artificial neural nets, genetic algorithms, belief calculus, and some aspects of machine learning like inductive logic programming. These tools are used independently as well as jointly depending on the type of the domain of applications.
Management of Imprecision and Uncertainty: Data and knowledgebases in many typical AI problems, such as reasoning and planning, are often contaminated with various forms of incompleteness. The incompleteness of data, hereafter called imprecision, generally appears in the database for i) lack of appropriate data, and ii) poor authenticity level of the sources. The incompleteness of knowledge, often referred to as uncertainty, originates in the knowledge base due to lack of certainty of the pieces of knowledge Reasoning in the presence of imprecision of data and uncertainty of knowledge is a complex problem. Various tools and techniques have been devised for reasoning under incomplete data and knowledge. Some of these techniques employ i) stochastic ii) fuzzy and iii) belief network models. In a stochastic reasoning model, the system can have transition from one given state to a number of states, such that the sum of the probability of transition to the next states from the given state is strictly unity. In a fuzzy reasoning system, on the other hand, the sum of the membership value of transition from the given state to the next state may be greater than or equal to one. The belief network model updates the stochastic / fuzzy belief assigned to the facts embedded in the network until a condition of equilibrium is reached, following which there would be no more change in beliefs. Recently, fuzzy tools and techniques have been applied in a specialized belief network, called a fuzzy Petri net, for handling both imprecision of data and uncertainty of knowledge by a unified approach.
Almost every branch of science and engineering currently shares the tools and techniques available in the domain of artificial intelligence. However, for the sake of the convenience of the readers, we mention here a few typical applications, where AI plays a significant and decisive role in engineering automation. Expert Systems: In this example, we illustrate the reasoning process involved in an expert system for a weather forecasting problem with special emphasis to its architecture. An expert system consists of a knowledge base, database and an inference engine for interpreting the database using the knowledge supplied in the knowledge base. The reasoning process of a typical illustrative expert system is described in Fig. PR 1 in Fig. represents i-th production rule. The inference engine attempts to match the antecedent clauses (IF parts) of the rules with the data stored in the database. When all the antecedent clauses of a rule are available in the database, the rule is fired, resulting in new inferences. The resulting inferences are added to the database for activating subsequent firing of other rules. In order to keep limited data in the database, a few rules that contain an explicit consequent (THEN) clause to delete specific data from the databases are employed in the knowledge base. On firing of such rules, the unwanted data clauses as suggested by the rule are deleted from the database. Here PR1 fires as both of its antecedent clauses are present in the database. On firing of PR1, the consequent clause it-will-rain will be added to the database for subsequent firing of PR2. Fig. Illustrative architecture of an expert system.
Image Understanding and Computer Vision: A digital image can be regarded as a two-dimensional array of pixels containing gray levels corresponding to the intensity of the reflected illumination received by a video camera. For interpretation of a scene, its image should be passed through three basic processes: low, medium and high level vision . Fig.: Basic steps in scene interpretation.
The importance of low level vision is to pre-process the image by filtering from noise. The medium level vision system deals with enhancement of details and segmentation (i.e., partitioning the image into objects of interest ). The high level vision system includes three steps: recognition of the objects from the segmented image, labeling of the image and interpretation of the scene. Most of the AI tools and techniques are required in high level vision systems. Recognition of objects from its image can be carried out through a process of pattern classification, which at present is realized by supervised learning algorithms. The interpretation process, on the other hand, requires knowledge-based computation.
Speech and Natural Language Understanding: Understanding of speech and natural languages is basically two class ical problems. In speech analysis, the main probl em is to separate the syllables of a spoken word and determine features like ampli tude, and fundamental and harmonic frequencies of each syllable. The words then could be ident ified from the extracted features by pattern class ification techniques. Recently, artificial neural networks have been employed to class ify words from their features. The probl em of understanding natural languages like English, on the other hand, includes syntactic and semantic interpretation of the words in a sentence, and sentences in a paragraph. The syntactic steps are required to analyze the sentences by its grammar and are similar with the steps of compilation. The semantic analysis, which is performed following the syntactic analysis, determines the meaning of the sentences from the association of the words and that of a paragraph from the closeness of the sentences. A robot capable of understanding speech in a natural language will be of immense importance, for it could execute any task verbally communicated to it. The phonetic typewriter, which prints the words pronounced by a person, is another recent invention where speech understanding is employed in a commercial application.
Scheduling: In a scheduling problem, one has to plan the time schedule of a set of events to improve the time efficiency of the solution. For instance in a class-routine scheduling problem, the teachers are allocated to different classrooms at different time slots, and we want most classrooms to be occupied most of the time. In a flowshop scheduling problem, a set of jobs J1 and J2 (say) are to be allocated to a set of machines M1, M2 and M3. (say). We assume that each job requires some operations to be done on all these machines in a fixed order say, M1, M2 and M3. Now, what should be the schedule of the jobs (J1-J2) or (J2 -J1), so that the completion time of both the jobs, called the make-span, is minimized? Let the processing time of jobs J1 and J2 on machines M1, M2 and M3 be (5, 8, 7) and (8, 2, 3) respectively. The gantt charts in fig. (a) and (b) describe the make-spans for the schedule of jobs J1 J2 and J2 J1 respectively. It is clear from these figures that J1-J2 schedule requires less make-span and is thus preferred. Fig.: The Gantt charts for the flowshop scheduling problem with 2 jobs and 3 machines.
Flowshop scheduling problems are a NP complete problem and determination of optimal scheduling (for minimizing the make-span) thus requires an exponential order of time with respect to both machine-size and job-size. Finding a sub-optimal solution is thus preferred for such scheduling problems. Recently, artificial neural nets and genetic algorithms have been employed to solve this problem. The heuristic search, to be discussed shortly, has also been used for handling this problem.
Intelligent Control: In process control, the controller is designed from the known models of the process and the required control objective. When the dynamics of the plant is not completely known, the existing techniques for controller design no longer remain valid. Rule-based control is appropriate in such situations. In a rule-based control system, the controller is realized by a set of production rules intuitively set by an expert control engineer. The antecedent (premise) part of the rules in a rule-based system is searched against the dynamic response of the plant parameters. The rule whose antecedent part matches with the plant response is selected and fired. When more than one rule is firable, the controller resolves the conflict by a set of strategies. On the other hand, there exist situations when the antecedent part of no rules exactly matches with the plant responses. Such situations are handled with fuzzy logic, which is capable of matching the antecedent parts of rules partially/ approximately with the dynamic plant responses. Fuzzy control has been successfully used in many industrial plants. One typical application is the power control in a nuclear reactor. Besides design of the controller, the other issue in process control is to design a plant (process) estimator, which attempts to follow the response of the actual plant, when both the plant and the estimator are jointly excited by a common input signal. The fuzzy and artificial neural network-based learning techniques have recently been identified as new tools for plant estimation.
Posted: June 30, 2016 at 3:36 am
Seeking a Definition for Neurohacking…?
Rather than giving you one strict definition, which is never the truth for everyone, we asked group members: How would you explain what neurohacking is, and why do you do it? The comments below are their replies:
I see neurohacking simply as neuroscience-based self-improvement, and I do it to narrow the gap between the life I have and the life I want.
Neurohacking teaches you how your brain works and how you can improve your mood and health. For me it was a way to repair some problems because I got rid of migraine and backaches by learning one of the first things, the relaxation response. Then I got into biofeedback because that way I didnt need tablets for blood pressure because I can control it. I notice that my confidence has got better as well.
Neurohacking is about ways of keeping your mind healthy and your brain performing at its best. I do it for maintaining and improving my mental health and partly to avoid decline with age, the same reasons I go to the gym for health of my body.
Why have a fit healthy body and a weak confused mind?
Neurohacking helps you to understand yourself. When doing NH you can go beyond “I must have got out of bed on the wrong side” way of thinking and figure out which side exactly is better to get out of bed on.
The Matrix had me. Neurohacking was the Red pill.
Neurohacking is changing your mind by changing your brain chemistry and learning how to control these states and work with them. Sometimes we humans do this just for fun, but it is what shamans have been doing since ages past. I like experimenting with drugs and methods of changing perception. Im also interested in intelligence augmentation or as I would call it the pursuit of Wisdom and enhancing our creativity and imagination, basically expanding all the frontiers of our minds, working with nature and our biology.
“Neurohacking is The act of evolving from a simple lab-rat to a pandimensional being.”
“Self-Help gone right.”
“Trying to keep the fragile balance required to be a sturdy human being.”
To me, neurohacking begins with the acknowledgement that you are your bodybrain. From there, it’s just a system of practical advice designed to reground yourself in the physical and mental capabilities that you were born with. It’s not ‘hacking’ in the sense of overclocking, but in the sense of ‘lifting the hood, understanding what’s going on, and making obvious and natural improvements’. It’s open-source and voluntary.
“The culmination of millenia old philosophy, psychology, physiology and more, in one little red pill. The fastest means to achieve the most valuable human resource: Freedom. Why do I do it? There is no way not to do it, I only get it (right).” (Marcos Rojas)
For me, neurohacking (the concept as it has evolved for me, as a part of this forum), is simply having some knowledge and techniques for improving the functioning of my body/mind/emotions, to improve the overall quality of my life, including longevity, health/vitality, mental functioning, emotional balance, as well as interpersonal communication, cooperative ventures, including art, music, poetry/prose/ songwriting, etc., and even on-line discussion.
For me, knowing things and learning things are not the ultimate achievements in my life, however theycan help me to create a much better foundation and framework, (or matrix) for what I dovalue most. ( a synergy of physical emotional, mental and spiritualgrowth or evolution ofconsciousness, interaction/communication, and expression.)
Neurohacking is the ‘practical’ to the ‘theory’ of neuroscience. Neuroscience gives you knowledge as facts about the brain and mind and intelligence. Neurohacking gives you knowledge as ability to use that information to improve yourself.
Neurohacking is another word for ‘entelechy’ for me that means learning how to do the most beneficial things for the good of intelligence, and that has fulfilled me personally as well. I have always been interested in how intelligence works. The more I learn, the more interested I get. I now see NH as a path to imaginative creativity in all things, interactions and relationships. I am hoping to learn enough to start running workshops and courses in the future.
I would say that neurohacking is having a conscious awareness of the forces shaping your consciousness, and consciously altering those forces in order to improve the interaction between your consciousness and the outside world. Neurohacking is inherently recursive, since the system doing the altering is also the system being altered, and I would say that any form of ‘self-improvement’ that has that feature probably qualifies as a neurohacking technique.
Neurohacking is just like computer hacking you change the system to do something better, to perform better, or sometimes to stop someone doing something nasty to you. Im interested in “Artificial Intelligence” and biotechnology stuff like mind/brain-computer interface and uploading, virtual reality. Intelligence is like the most important thing that humans (and machines) have access to, but most of them dont really even have a clue what it is and what it can do.
“Hacking is often associated with the quest for efficiency, expanding the concept to the ultimate machine, our own brains, seems toencompass much more than just brain efficiency, since the brain can assimilate the real world and expand its domain overit. True freedom of choice is impossible without knowing the full spectrum of your choices.
Expanding your mind is arequirement to fit that spectrum in, and start to glance its magnificence.
NGI = Natural General Intelligence. (contrasting with the search for AGI)
“Neurohacking is any act of intentionally altering/modifying your bodybrain state resulting in eithertemporary or long-term effects. The primary goal of NH is developing a bodybrain in full health with access to all it’s functions in all networks, and in the process repairing any pre-existing damage and building the potential for experiencing an extraordinary life.”
Theres a formal definition of Neurohacking (NH) here:
I like being able to learn the latest discoveries about intelligence and discuss it. My reasons are various: intellectually & scientific interest, improving my intelligence and to keep my mind sharp as I get older, personally because the relief at being free from anxiety and really feeling personal power in my life has made me a much happier person and my life much happier (and much better organized!) I can only describe the process as like stepping out of a cloud and its a clear day.
Neurohacking for me is used for a spiritual path, but I know it can be used for many more purposes. The Dalai Lamas talks got me interested in neuroscience. I use some biofeedback to aid my meditation progress and I plan my diet and things like Tai Chi exercises. I also do NH techniques to support emotional stability and clarity of perception. My goal is I seek wisdom, understanding, and unity.
Neurohacking is any ability distilled by knowledge that deliberately seeks to promote the growth of co
mplexity in any intelligent system.”
A Couple of Personal Accounts:
To be completely honest, neurohacking is the story of my life; as long as I can remember I’ve been fighting those dragons: beings, institutions and ideas that wanted to implant in my head the seeds of their controlled universe. Yes, way back to the times when even the word “hacking” was not part of my vocabulary, I remember… I remember the terrible shock of their blades, I remember the dry sound of their shields blocking my sword, I remember the smell of my skin burning under the repeated assaults of their fire-breathing steeds, and I remember the loneliness. I remember how I could have felt so alone in this never ending struggle, desperately seeking to meet some other brave knights out there, ready to stand and fight at my side. It took me 34 long years to find the first one, his name was Sir Alexander Ramonsky…
So yeah, maybe you can now better understand what kind of relief it was for me to find a neuroscientist who actually confirmed the righteousness of my holy war. And it might explain why, at first, I was rather focused on the will to build something like the New Camelot, reforming the old Round Table, and living in that golden stronghold with young and strong and brave knights, patiently furbishing our weapons, preparing for the day of revenge… I was so hurt, so weary, I needed a place for retreat. Although the quest for a 100% hassle-free zone was like another unattainable Holy Grail unworthy of our – quite limited – time. Avalon is the resting place of the dead, it is not made for the living.
So these days are over now. Today, my own neurohacking practice have led me to the land where Voltaire spent his late years, or as Candide himself did put it: “we must cultivate our garden”. And then I understood that even if I spent so many years wondering what was my true mission on this planet, still I’ve always fulfilled it by being true to myself, by being the living example that one can refuse all the bullshit they pretend to seriously care about. What has changed, though, is that today I know why by cultivating my own garden I’m doing precisely the only best thing I can do to utterly slain all the dragons…
That’s what neurohacking has done in my case, that’s what neurohacking does anyway, because it simply allows Intelligence to blossom naturally; and if Intelligence speaks many languages, it speaks only in one voice. Hence the delicious feeling of unity in which my mind is increasingly wandering these days.
So from now on, my focus will simply be on participating in this wide movement which – somehow – will consist in offering to the Spirit of Candide, of Voltaire and of the Enlightenment philosophers, but above all to any living dude who’ll be smart enough to really care about it, a ‘Science of Gardening’…” – Scalino Corleone di Napoli
I work in Biological Psychology and I got into Neurohacking as part of a search for the truth about what intelligence really is and whats happened to most peoples minds. I searched because I had to; I was driven, because for my life to have personal meaning it has to make sense to me, and the way my society was structured and the way that most people behaved did not make sense to me.
I searched because I knew there was something wrong, and that it was hidden from our eyes, like a computer virus running in the undercurrents of society, running in the unconscious minds of people going about their conscious business, living out their lives like duped slaves in a mindless soap-opera-in-the-matrix existence, oblivious to any real truth or any real satisfaction, and because I knew that whatever was wrong was going wrong in epidemic proportions.
I searched because I knew there was something more. Along the way I met others, potential explorers driven by their own needs, people baffled by their own experiences that did not make sense, thrown off balance by sentiments and anxieties that should not exist in healthy human intelligence (and to be truly human, or truly intelligent, I have now come to believe is the very thing humans may have to fight for). Chronic anxiety rules the world, creating the very problem that makes people unable to face it.
I went looking for the causes of humanitys dysfunctional state and my own, and I found them, in the hard, undeniable evidence of human science. The truth is way too much to swallow, for the many. Trying to think intelligently with anxiety is like trying to swim in quicksand. You can get out if you stop struggling and let intelligence save you, but most people really do not want to be unplugged. Most people are too busy hiding from, rather than looking for, the answers.
But nevertheless, Im here because its in biological psychology that I found my answers, and through neurohacking I managed to change my mind.
I am not MorpheusIf people want to be unplugged, seek to understand the truth about intelligence, and want to free their minds, Im here to work with them, but if they want to ‘stay in the matrix’, they can stay by all means. Neurohacking is not for wimps. It’s Red Pillsville, buckle your seatbelt, and Kansas is about to go bye bye. There are lots of potentials (the many) but very few actuals (the few’).
And now its a part of my life to work with the few, wherever I can. Mend the wires. Stop the virus. Make healthy intelligence ‘software’ and mental health information open source. Create a space for intelligent people to get on with real things. I make no predictions about what Ill be doing next, because from my point of view its as simple as “whatever’s necessary”.
Why are we here? “Because there is still some good in the world, Mr Frodo, and its worth fighting for”.”
Now Perhaps you can empathize with some of the views above or perhaps you will discover your own definitions and reasons; whatever they are you are welcome aboard
We hope you now have a clearer idea of what NH is about and what we are doing here.
Go here to see the original:
Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:53 am
Google searches can be frustrating. You get all the boring main stream media lies, and you have to dig deep to get interesting alternative politically incorrect site links.
Your frustration is over.
(German version: Politisch inkorrekte Google Suche (pigs) at fluechtling.net/pigs )
You must try searches yourself to believe it. You will want to use this search instead of the normal Google Search.
Please help to improve the searches by posting blog rolls and link lists with politically incorrect sites, in English and in German. There is a lot more to add, especially in German.
If you search for “Blacks Lives Matter” you get this nice result
Female-led proposals to use the in-demand Hubble telescope are less likely to be selected.” Scientific American claims this in the midst of a huge section of Junk Diversity Science which has been utterly debunked elsewhere.
An internal Hubble study1 found that in each of the past 11 observation proposal cycles, applications led by male principal investigators had a higher success rate than those led by women. Women submit roughly 25% of proposals for Hubble telescope observing time. [SciAm]
This confounding of junk gender science with true natural science is very serious. This is why after years of study even we need serious deprogramming from the politically correct cultural Marxist lies that impressible children, adolescents and adults are constantly told by school books and biased un-scientific journals like Scientific American!
Scientific Americans mixing of real natural science with politically motivated unscientific falsified junk science like gender, domestic violence, race and iq issues aspires to permanently poison the minds of young and old with feminist and politically correct hate ideology.
The head of a science department of a major research University confirmed to us, in private, that female scientists generally less innovative and talented then their male counterparts . Implicit quotas demand hiring and promoting women who dont meet the requirements men would be measured up to. Quotas guarantee that the rare woman with sufficient talent will be snatched away for an even more prestigious job, always rising to her level of incompetence. Aware of Larry Summers dismissal , our department head refuses to be identified.
“Scientific American used to be a great magazine but like any publishing venture headquartered in New York, it has gradually drifted into liberal never-never-land.” [UnScientific American]
Did Megan Urry control her statistics for yearly working hours, life time interest in science, years experience, work invested in the proposal, IQ, math talent of the applying scientists?
We wager a bet that the average male physics proposal writer, more so a Ivy League department chair, did not flunk their first physics exams in college, like Megan Urry herself and was interested in physics since tender age of 6, unlike Megan Urry  and other female applicants. Megan Urry (of course) ignores even the possibility that male and female applicants might be intrinsically different in some way. Larry Summers was a victim of telling such truth that there is a dearth of women in the top talent for science and math.
In spite of IQ tests having been manipulated to elevate female IQ to the same level as males [Wikipedia], there are twice as many men with IQ over 150: Men: either very clever or really stupid [Wikipedia] because of greater male variance on IQ and most other traits.
How Diversity Makes Us Smarter Not! Scientific American has been polluted by the same junk science that pervades our Universities politically correct cultural Marxist social science and humanities departments. Entire generations are being indoctrinated with falsehoods, in much more devious ways then communist Soviet Union and China were ever capable of.
From time to time we refer to five longitudinal studies which show that increasing gender diversity on boards leads to declines in corporate financial performance. The studies are referred to in a number of posts, and have been included in a number of our documents. But we thought it might be useful to prepare a short briefing paper with details of the five studies and their full Abstracts, its here. 
Campaign for Merit in Business, which was launched early in 2012, has made a remarkable impact in a relatively short time. Weve proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the glass ceiling is a baseless conspiracy theory. Through exposing as fantasies, lies, delusions and myths, the arguments which said that increasing gender diversity in the boardroom (GDITB) will improve corporate financial performance, weve destroyed the long-vaunted business case for GDITB. We continue to publicise five longitudinal studies, all of which show that GDITB leads to declines in corporate financial performance. What else would we expect when businesses arent free to select the best people for their boards, regardless of gender? Proponents are left with little other than misrepresenting correlation as causation in pursuit of their social engineering programmes.
The Conservative-led coalition no longer challenges our assertion that the impact of GDITB on UK plc will inevitably be a negative one. And yet it continues to actively pursue GDITB. 
Weve put in FoI requests seeking evidence for the governments previous claims that putting more women on boards will lead to performance improvement. None has ever been forthcoming. This hasnt stopped the government from continuing to threaten legislated gender quotas for FTSE100 boards if they havent achieved female representation on their boards by 2015. In fact, theyre going further. We know from a recent report that next in the firing line will be the FTSE350, and that gender parity on boards is the longer-term goal. 6
The Inclusion Equation
Global figures on diversity in the science and engineering workforce are hard to come by, but what we know is not flattering
How women and men fare in doctoral studies around the world
In Pursuit of the Best Ideas
In a diverse team, the best ideas are more likely to rise to the top
To change the equation, start changing the perception
Particular Points of View
Gender and culture influence research on a fundamental level
Inviting Everyone In
There is no formula for bringing diversity to the workplace or classroom, but new research that deepens our understanding of how diversity operates suggests some modestly successful strategies
How Diversity Works
Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working
Networked technology and social media are enabling outsiders to gather and crunch data
Taking It Personally
How a researchers background can determine her mission
The Iraq conflict spilled onto the streets of Herford in North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday evening as hundreds of members of the Yazidi faith clashed with supporters of Islamist terrorist group ISIS.
Diversity through immigration enriches Germany: The Iraqi war is fought right in their back yard. Germany imported and breeds radical Muslim fundamentalists, terrorists, Jihad fighters,
Around 300 Yazidi took to the streets in the early evening. They were demonstrating against the attacks on members of their faith in Syria and Iraq and a religiously-motivated attack against their community earlier that day, Herford police reported.
ISIS is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and even Shia Muslims, in Iraq. [4, 5]. Germany would be a boring place, if it were not enriched by such diversity.
The police decided to intervene after a large group of hooded people started attacking passers-by in the town centre, with at least one person injured. The police used pepper spray to control the mob, confiscating tools and one firearm, and took the details of 86 people involved.
Diversity is worth such expensive police action. In Berlin, African invaders of schools and public squares also cost millions to police.
Police reinforcements were called in from all over eastern Westphalia, including officers from Bochum and Dortmund, to keep the different groups apart. The police deployment lasted throughout the night and involved well over 100 officers, a Herford police spokesman told The Local.
A large portion of the 9.11 terrorists came from Germany. German residents and citizens (?) fight for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Kurds, Yazidis, all warring parties are in Germany. Unlike Germans, “oppressed” Muslims have the right to be anti-Semitic and commit violence against Jews. Germany finally gets enriched by diversity. “Diversity is our strength”!
Hamas fired thousands of imprecise rockets with the clear and lone intent to hit civilians in Israeli cities. Hamas launches missiles in the midst of civilian crowds , uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes.
Strangely, we dont see huge European demonstrations against Hamas endangering Israeli and Palestinian Civilians. Political Correctness doctrine defines the Palestinians and Hamas as disadvantaged group who has the right to use violence to avenge their grievances. Even Anti-Semitism becomes fashionable again in Europe, with special support by European immigrant Muslims.
Hamas devotes money and work on sophisticated tunnels. Money that could be spent on schools, underground shelters for civilians, hospitals, food. Nobody blames Hamas for wasting money on tunnels and missiles while Palestinians above the tunnels lack even basic food and health services.
Weakness is the PC (political correctness) weapon: If Israel bombs a school, Hamas wins points. So Hamas shoots rockets from schools, Israel shoots back, Hamas wins. Palestine civilians be damned, nobody blames Hamas for launching rockets in the midst of school children.
Applying these legal principles to the conflict, there is strong evidence of war crimes on both sides. Hamas rocket attacks are illegal because they either deliberately target civilians or are fired indiscriminately. They are indiscriminate either because Hamas does not aim them solely at military targets, or their technological inaccuracy makes them incapable of avoiding civilian areas.
Hamas actions are little different from when Allied and Axis aircraft indiscriminately fire-bombed European cities in the Second World War, or the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan. The temptation to place necessity above the law, and self-interest above humanity, is a terrible and common human failing.
Compare this to the Ukrainian Army, that had the license to attack with artillery and planes large cities in Europe, to rout secessionist that were simply hunkered down, did not lob any missiles at anyone. There was no immediate need for self defense, no negotiations were made to discuss justified grievances of the Russian speaking minority population that was suffering discrimination.
Strangely, Russian speaking minorities in Ukraine are not bestowed oppressed group status and thus are fair game for first strike non-retaliatory artillery attacks on cities. So Human-Stupiditys suggestion will not be heeded:
Hamas use of tunnels to launch surprise attacks on Israeli military forces is not illegal. Infiltrating enemy territory and surprising enemy forces is a permissible strategy in war, as is capturing enemy soldiers. The Age
Western journalists operating in Gaza have been threatened and harassed by Hamas for reporting instances of the terrorist groups use of human shields, according to a Times of Israel report. Israeli officials have noted that some reporters are intimidated by Hamas threats and have ceased documenting Hamas exploitation of civilians throughout the conflict.
The newspaper says it confirmed instances in which Hamas officials confiscated equipment and pictures from photographers exposing terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets from civilian structures and fighting in civilian garb. 
* Sanctions intended to stop Ukrainian governments aerial, missile, and artillery attacks at cities in Eastern Ukraine
Europe can not accept Ukraines shelling and bombing of their own cities, the world can not accept Ukraine deliberately mixing civil air traffic with military bombing and transport missions in a war zone. Who sent war planes on attack sorties into Eastern Ukraine and scheduled civil aviation onto the same path?
If the West were not totally devoted to EU expansion, NATO expansion, and Putin bashing, they would blame the Ukraine government for creating a humanitarian disaster.
The Ukrainian government started the hot violent large scale heavy weapons war, it can stop the war at any moment. The separatists were not attacking, they were hunkered down quietly and satisfied with their area.
Ukraine can start internationally supervised negotiations for partial autonomy for Donetsk, Luhansk and negotiate an agreement on UN peace keeping troops. The EU also ought to impose a no fly zone and threaten sanctions on Obama, so the US uses his influence to tell Ukraine to stop the attacks and cease fire.
The Guardian continues:
EU governments have agreed to impose sweeping sanctions on Ukraine, targeting state-owned banks, imposing an arms embargo and restricting sales of sensitive technology and the export of equipment for the countrys oil i
ndustry, in response to Kievs continued attacking of separatists and civilians in eastern Ukraine.
The punitive measures, the most extensive EU sanctions imposed on Ukraine since the cold war, were agreed by ambassadors from the 28 member states after a seven-hour debate. They decided that Ukraine had not fulfilled the conditions laid down by foreign ministers last week, to stop supply of arms to the rebels stop attacking cities of millions, towns and villages with tanks, artillery, and aerial bombardments , instead negotiate autonomy rights for the Russian minorities and provide full cooperation in the investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Human-Stupidity normally refrains from dabbling in world politics.
But here we are amazed at the brazen manipulation of world opinion and world politics, that favors heavy artillery war against large European cities, instead of negotiation and de-centralized government in Ukraine.
The same governments that defend the rights of recently arrived Mexicans, Salvadorians, and Hondurans in the US, that defend the rights of recently arrived Somalis, Syrians, Algerians in Europe; These minority friendly governments are complicit in the discrimination, political disenfranchisement, persecution, shelling and bombing of Russian minorities that have lived on Ukrainian soil for generations.
Further US sanctions were expected to follow during the night.
The president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and the head of the European Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso, issued a joint statement describing the EU measures as a strong warning that “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country violently overthrowing elected president Viktor Yanukovych, discriminating against the Russian minority, prohibiting their language, and prohibiting the communist party for defending the rights of the Russian minority  could not be accepted in 21st-century Europe. Europe takes diversity and minority rights very seriously.
Odessa massacre , Shelling and bombing of Donetsk all remain unpunished.
“Ukrainian government creates violence spirals out of control and leads to the killing thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians   [Reuters] and of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” they said. Ukraines flying military ground attack planes and military transport planes and routing civilian air liners into the same war zone as human shields is planned murder, at least criminal negligence. “The European Union will fulfill its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbouring Russian minorities and partners.”
Special thanks to Russian Russian president Putin for accepting over 100 000 asylum seekers, that fled Ukraine government violence. The asylum seekers did not flee into peaceful regions of Ukraine, well knowing that in Ukraine they would continue suffering government violence, discrimination and repression of their minority culture and language.
Adapted from The Guardian.
Hate speech laws started with the good intention to prevent inciting violence: “Kill Blacks, gays, ..”. Since then they went down a slippery slope, where a harmlessly uttered private opinion can ruin careers
Sadly, “privileged whites” heaping bananas on a black soccer players car is a much worse crime then “repressed Blacks expressing justified anger” throwing cobble stones or Molotov cocktails onto police and burning down neighborhoods of London, Paris, or Los Angeles.
“Underprivileged groups” have the privilege to use violence with impunity. “Privileged White heterosexuals” have no free speech rights and get imprisoned for non-violent speech. Our legal system is back to the middle ages. Of course, academic researchers like J. Philippe Rushton or Arthur Jensen also get threatened with impunity, and the New Black Panther party can publicly threaten the life innocent “white” Hispanic George Zimmerman.
See the article here: