The virtual cockpits from which the US drone fleet are operated have been infected by a virus, anonymous Air Force sources tell Wired. Not only that, but officials at Creech AFB in Nevada where the deathly video games are played, apparently didn’t notify the Air Force’s network security organization of the breech. When you put this together with the extrajudicially authorized overseas executions of US citizens, well, it’s just a little bit too SkyNet for me to feel good about.
It’s frustrating to feel like nothing you do matters. In isolation, we have very little effect on the world. It’s only in aggregate, by organizing with other people that large changes — social chain reactions — can happen. Sometimes it’s done purposefully, as in the case of universal suffrage or the civil rights movement. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we’ve been organized to do, as with our present efforts to terraform the Earth. A few weeks ago I was completely absorbed by the uprising in Egypt. I don’t watch live video much (and no TV), and I was glued to Al Jazeera, and temporarily subscribed to a dozen actively twittering people in Cairo. Then my sister sent me a link to a live hummingbird cam, which was jarringly disconnected from what I’d been immersed in, which looked more like this:
Congressional Research Service report on the implications of the Egyptian revolution for US foreign policy (pdf). Also has good background on the nature of our relationship with Egypt, including our ongoing aid package and political pressures.
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Continue reading Links for the week of November 1st, 2010
- Tent City Rapidly Growing in Sacramento – Wow, a tent city forming within Sacramento? What proportion of people ended up living in shantytowns and similar impromptu dwellings and communities during the Great Depression I wonder. Ironic and sad, given the absurd oversupply of housing is what in large part triggered this economic mess. (tagged: homeless economy depression sacramento california shanty )
- Wikileaks cracks NATO's Master Narrative for Afghanistan – For the love of god, even the Pentagon can't get its users to pick decent passwords? Classified messaging (propaganda) documents regarding Afghanistan posted on publicly accessible website, encrypted with the super-secret ultra-secure key: 'progress'. (tagged: propaganda transparency war pentagon military security internet )
- Nationalization for Beginners – A nice short readable set of the possible definitions of "Nationalization" in the context of the banking crisis. Opponents usually mean Soviet style State Banks, proponents generally mean FDIC style conservatorship. What we've got now is a horribly opaque mishmash. (tagged: bailout crisis finance fdic economics )
- Rep. John Conyers: A Reply to Larry Lessig – Conyers replies to Lessig's fairly aggressive critique of HR801 in public. Not convincing. (tagged: politics science openaccess hr801 lessig conyers publishing )
- Talk on China and the Global Internet at Harvard – Rebecca MacKinnon gave a talk on the future of China within the context of the global Internet. Haven't watched it yet, but downloaded to my iTunes, and her blog is good. Ethan Zuckerman blogged it. Interesting to see how different cultures evolve their relationship with the machines independently (and how it mediates our interactions with each other) (tagged: china internet technology transparency censorship harvard )
- Short Term Investing – A gleeful satire of what really, truly ails Wall Street, and capitalism in general: grotesquely short term thinking. (tagged: investing finance money bailout satire )
- MBARI finds fish with a transparent head – This thing is beyond weird. If we're still discovering things like this on Earth, how can we hope to even imagine what extraterrestrial organisms would be like? (tagged: fish biology science video weird alien ocean evolution )
- The Kessler Syndrome – Another example of unsustainable behavior, without forethought on our parts? The recent collision of two satellites is causing some to wonder if we might be getting close to the threshold at which the debris from such collisions begets more collisions, and more debris, in a runaway process rendering low earth orbit useless for satellites. (tagged: space sustainability non-linear kessler imapcts )
- Zeitgeist – The Movie – Have not seen these movies. Some of what the summaries say is interesting, but other parts sound utterly bogus. Curious from a memetic point of view if nothing else… (tagged: movie film zeitgeist economics religion politics money war )
- Boston Dynamics (DARPA) BIGDOG Robot – BigDog is a DARPA funded quadripedal robot capable of climbing over a pile of cinderblocks, walking on slippery ice, scaling dunes and snow covered hillsides, taking a big shove from the side, and jumping over a designated obstacle. When do we get to send one of these guys to Mars? (tagged: robot youtube darpa mars military video research technology )