Sunday, March 05, 2017

Contrary Brin

Contrary Brin

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Facing a future of technologic wonders: Artificial Intelligence
Don't be demoralized; we've faced waves of anti-science mania before. Today, let's assume we decide to resume being a boldly confident, ever-ambitious, scientific and technological civilization, in which children believe they can be better than their parents... but parents make that goal hard to achieve, in the best way, because we're improving too! Okay then, consider some innovations that will
Economics under Trump
Please. We have one hope. That a civilization built by pragmatic idealists -- who used fact-grounded skills to craft a nation and a gradually better society -- can somehow use facts to save it. We will win this on two fronts: (1) by steadily peeling away from the rabid confederacy more adult Americans, one by one... and (2) by showing die-hard confeds that their self-interest does not lie with th
Revenge of the Deep State?
" Deep State " is a buzz phrase that's been around. It stands for the obstinate obstruction that political reformers may face - even when they win elections - from a nation's civil servants, bureaucrats, contractors, influential stakeholders and - especially - the security apparatus. The term was used for many years on the left , citing the last moderate Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, w

Feb 22

Trump's Divided America
This reporter tried hard, for a week to live life with no reference to the President (read Farhad Manjoo in The NY Times ). But this mother of storms exceeds any combination of known attention storms. Sci fi offers a simple explanation. He is an attention vampire. However many hate him... however little he actually accomplishes... an attention vampire will flourish as ever-more humans look at him

Feb 20

Anticipating upcoming Sci Fi Movies of 2017
Here are my quick takes on 31 sci fi movies to expect in 2017 (as selected by Bobby Bernstein on NerdMuch ): 1. Underworld: Blood Wars : Kate Beckinsale is very watchable and there are moments of irony in the Underworld series, and action. But it betrays the essence of the lycanthrope - wolfman - mythos, making them just smellier vampires. If vampires are the aristocratic monsters, and zombies th

Feb 17

Post-election: picking up the pieces
Okay, back to a general post-mortem: let’s focus on the election itself, starting with two quick dismissals. This was not about working class pain, or racism. Yeah, yeah, I hear your howls. And sure, maybe a third of Trump voters have some justified sense of grievance over jobs. Unemployment dropped dramatically under Obama and his near-record departing-popularity reflects this. But changes in th

Feb 16

Tech marvels and wonders
Let's do a quick, midweek palate cleaner, and switch to the part of our nation and civilization that is doing fabulously.... science! And for starters -- Changing the future of of the hyperloop companies claims to be ready for full-scale tests. An F/A-18 Hornet releases a swarm of over a hundred mini drones that swarm with collective intelligence, like birds. Yow. Can we stop

Feb 13

It's a tough world out there: and now a drumbeat for war on Iran.
Papa Heinlein promised us interesting times during what he forecast as "The Crazy Years." And boy are we in it. I'll have more, later, about Heinlein's creepy-on-target prescience. But today, let's focus on International affairs. = The scariest thing == Of course the thing to dread is misuse of the powers of the state, either turning them against us or else spasmodically flinging them about in wa

Feb 10

Can cheating be combatted?
As I mentioned, earlier, liberals should start practicing judo. Start by accepting Trump’s demand for a commission to investigate electoral fraud . A call that is now echoed in this article from Salon . Watch, as they scurry to back away from the demand. Indeed. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee , a newly formed political gro

Feb 07

Is Class War as Inevitable as the Return of Karl Marx?
I've long written how we should envision America as a continuing revolution against the failed feudal model that crushed human hope in 99% of human societies, across 6000 years. Indeed, our major issues today have little to do with the hoary, lobotomizing “left-right axis.” Not when Enterprise, markets, entrepreneurship and national defense all do vastly better across Democratic administrations,

Feb 03

Start planning the revolution! In real life and in sci fi
First items you all have probably heard by now - news that Donald Trump's senior staff all use t he same RNC email server that mysteriously disappeared 22 million messages during George W. Bush's administration and one that U.S. intelligence services believe was compromised by the Russians at the same time as the DNC's. The Trump campaign hammered Hillary Clinton for her using a private email ser

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