I have been thinking about the situation in the Middle East and also the rise of oil prices, peak oil, and the problem of a world economy based on energy scarcity rather than abundance. There is, I believe, a way to solve the problems in the Middle East, and the energy problems facing the world, at the same time.… Read More “Peace in the Middle East: Could Alternative Energy Be the Solution?”
Only now the full horror of the situation in Burma is emerging.
I’ve been tracking the progress of my Burma protest meme. In just under one week it has spread to almost 17,000 web pages and it continues to grow. (For the latest number, click here). It’s great to see the blogosphere pick this up, and I’m glad to be able to do something to help raise awareness of this important human rights issue.… Read More “My Burma Meme Spreads to 17,000 Web Pages in just one week!”
The situation in Burma is far worse than the mainstream media has reported so far. Watch this video that was just smuggled out showing soldiers beating unarmed protesters. There are now reports coming in from eyewitnesses of young school students being shot by the army, masses of injured protestors being cremated alive, and thousands of monks and other protesters being killed and dumped in mass graves in the jungles.… Read More “Burma Update: Protestors Cremated Alive; Monks Massacred in Jungle”
Note: This is a new kind of online protest that uses blogs to spread a petition globally. To participate, just add your blog by following the instructions in this blog post.
This not an issue of partisan politics, this is an issue of basic human rights and democracy.… Read More “Help the People of Burma — Post this Meme on Your Blog!”
The nation of Myanamar (Burma) is currently ruled by a repressive and corrupt military dictatorship. Past attempts to bring about democracy have met with violent crackdowns by the government, usually against unarmed civilians. In one past incident, approximately 3000 protesters were killed by the military.… Read More “Dangerous Situation in Burma Developing”
This just in. The Chinese Government, in their ongoing campaign against the Dalai Lama and Buddhism in Tibet, have announced a new law making it illegal for a Buddha to reincarnate without a state permit. This law is designed effectively to put an end to the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet within one generation.… Read More “Chinese Authorities Make it Illegal to Reincarnate Without a Permit”
My friend and colleague, Adam Cheyer, from SRI, recently helped to advise and launch Change.org — a social network for nonprofit activism. It’s a great site for a great cause. It’s also a great example of a special-purpose social network — a useful social network.… Read More “Congratulations to Adam Cheyer and Change.org”
This one really takes the cake. Diebold, the makers of the infamously hackable electronic voting machines, has done it again. They posted photos for replacement keys for their voting machines on their Web site. Unfortunately the photos were high enough resolution that anyone who knows how to make keys could easily copy them.… Read More “Almost Unbelievably Stupid — Diebold Posts Photo of Voting Machine Key — Hackers Replicate Key From Photo”
Where do I sign up to support this initiative? A group of exasperated US airline passengers who were stuck on the tarmac for 10 hours last month have come up with a proposal for a bill to establish a Passenger’s Bill of Rights, which would include the following provisions:
Establishing procedures for airlines to return passengers to a terminal gate after three hours on the tarmac.
… Read More “A Passenger's Bill of Rights — Sign me Up!”
This article by Germany’s best-known economics writer provides a fast and high-level overview of how the American empire is losing (has lost?) its economic power. While the dollar is still the world’s currency of choice, the USA no longer controls it.… Read More “The Sell-Off of America”
I came across this interesting project that aims to stop online pedophiles by setting 100,000 online honeytraps. It calls for 100,000 volunteer adults to post online profiles in various services posing as minors. They then use these a bait and wait to be contacted by pedophiles.… Read More “Interesting Proposal for Stopping Online Pedophiles”
I am concerned by what I’m viewing in our national media lately. Viewed from outside (and also from within the USA), it would appear that our nation is obsessed with, and plagued by, an increasing spree of horrible crimes and abuses of human rights.… Read More “A Proposal to Make the Media (and Society) Better”
The recent negative hype about the lack of privacy in search results got me thinking about the needs of online services versus those of individuals. Is there a way to satisfy both constraints?
AOL’s accidental data release was one thing that worried me.… Read More “Privacy and Search”
A bill has been proposed to do away with the penny — that most useless an annoying of coins. Thank you!!!! As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t buy a payphone call with it, or 10 to 15 minutes on a parking meter, then it’s just not worth having anymore — so I would also propose getting rid of nickels and dimes too.… Read More “Kill the Penny”
Grupthink is a service where anyone can create and participate in polls on various subjects. It’s similar to an idea I once had about polling the global mind in real-time (although their system does not show votes happening in real-time, presently).… Read More “Polling the Global Mind”
The ACLU has a nice little animation of what life will be like once the government, and corporate America, have access to all personal data. It’s a nice little simulation.
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.
The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.
… Read More “Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas”
This is a fascinating article by an investigative reporter for CBS News on the various tactics used by opposing parties who want to prevent, spin, or kill negative articles in the press. Quite interesting, and unsual to find coming from a major news organization.… Read More “How to Kill a News Story”
Oy Vey. CNN just reported that Virginia Democrats are rumored to be asking Ben Affleck to run for the Senate. Note to the Virginia Democrats: Ben Affleck is an A-C-T-O-R not a politician. Am I the only one who is completely fed up with actors running for (and holding) public office?… Read More “Another Actor Running for Office?”
This is quite interesting. It turns out that manufacturers of color laser printers are secretly encoding tracking numbers onto every inch of every printout. These microscopic codes enable printouts to be traced back to particular printers that printed them, and thus to whomever owns those devices.… Read More “Color Laser Printers Secretly Encode Tracking Codes on Printouts”
From the Truly-Ludicrous-Department, the Senate may attempt to ram through a horribly shortsighted and backwards copyright bill. This bill would, among other things, eliminate centuries of fair-use precedent, make skipping commercials on digital recording devices a crime, and would make many uses of p2p networks, digital music players, digital sampling, and other forms of fair-use, crimes.… Read More “Senate May Ram Ludicrous Copyright Bill”
Disclaimer: I try to keep this blog non-political. I am essentially a political centrist — I tend to judge each politician, plan and party on its merits rather than by any rigid ideology or party-line. I generally find most politicans, political plans and political parties to be less intelligent and less long-term-oriented than I would wish them to be.… Read More “The American Conservative Magazine endorses…Kerry?”
This article by a former NSA/NSC and Reagan-administration official adds further credence to the “October Surprise” theory that the White House may initiate a pre-election attack on Iran. It’s interesting because of the source, who is presumably both more reliable and more connected and “in-the-know” than the usual rumor sources on the Web.… Read More “More Rumors of Pre-Emptive Iran Strike”
This article was submitted to Minding the Planet by a reader, James Clayton Napier, the author. It’s an interesting inside commentary on how TV News works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be) — NS
“Images can either imprison or liberate us.”… Read More “From a Reader: TV News: A Mirror Reflecting the World It Covers or Making It A Better Place in Which to Live One Story at a Time?”
There has been much recent discussion lately about alleged evidence that the Bush administration is issuing terrorist alerts for political gain. While I am not taking a position on this issue, I do have a suggestion that could eliminate any doubts, and in the process protect our upcoming elections.… Read More “How to Save the Upcoming Elections from Terrorism Alert Manipulation”
I wonder if anyone from MoveOn.Org or the Republicans will notice our GoMeme experiments? (Not that I’m taking sides — I’ll simply be happy if somebody wins the election!) Grassroots political campaigns could potentially really benefit from the techniques we’re testing here.… Read More “Can You Imagine What Would Happen if MoveOn.Org Used the GoMeme Concept?”
by Nova Spivack
Originally published on July 28, 2004; Updated on October 10, 2011
Should there be a Constitutional Separation of Corporation and State?
Today our American democracy faces a new threat to its integrity, a threat even greater than terrorism in the long-term.… Read More “Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: A Separation of Corporation and State”