13 August 2020

I Won’t Take A COVID Vaccine That Is Rushed

If the vaccine developed by Russia was the only one available, I would pass Continue reading on Medium » - Hesham Hassaballa
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12 August 2020

Hong Kong Elections Postponed: And where aren’t they?

Today, the Western press went absolutely mental again, radically schizophrenic. Hong Kong leader, Carrie Lam, declared that the September 6 elections in SAR would be postponed by one year. Right away, she offered a rational explanation: “We have 3 million voters going out in one day across Hong Kong, such flow of people would cause […] - Dissident Voice
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CNN: “Scientific” Means “Agrees With Us”

“Trump adds coronavirus adviser who echoes his unscientific claims,” reports CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Collins neither makes any scientific claims of her own, nor uses actual science to rebut any claims made by that adviser — Dr. Scott Atlas — or President Donald Trump himself, in the article under that headline. She merely notes that Atlas … Continue reading CNN: “Scientific” Means “Agrees With Us” → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Review: Bourgeois Dignity

Bourgeois Dignity‘s line of inquiry — at least as stated — is into the causes of what Dierdre McCloskey calls “the Fact” — the tenfold or more increase in the average person’s standard of living in a couple centuries’ time. Her thesis that “the Fact” owed its origins to a culture of innovation, of openness... - Kevin Carson
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A BBC journalist’s tweet sums up the broadcaster’s rancid attitude towards refugees

A BBC journalist managed to sum up in one tweet the broadcaster’s rancid coverage of refugees crossing the Channel. But the situation also points … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Catalyst in detail: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 06:34:45

Let’s take another look at the following: “Accepting chaos is sometimes part of accepting the winds of change, and with world inequality deepening and the global population rising, chaos is unavoidable and we can only meditate on the result. In view of the many doors to the “uncertain alternative” ahead, perhaps pretending to be in control is not as good as admitting that we are merely hoping and acting to make a better outcome. Occasionally in history, there will be no choice but to submit to the forces of chaos if we want to allow the oppressive order of the present to fall, so that we can build anew when the crisis has birthed the next civilization. No-one can accurately predict the outcome of our civilization’s evolution, because the only craftsman is going to be the crisis itself, but we can rest assured that a new order is going to emerge out of the chaos facing us.” We’re at the transformational crossroads of liberation and technology. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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10 August 2020

America Doesn’t Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

On August 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates denied US president Donald Trump’s request to increase the number of debates between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden from three to four. Trump’s case: The expansion of voting by mail means that many ballots will have been cast before the first scheduled fake debate on September … Continue reading America Doesn’t Have Presidential Debates, But It Should → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Assange: “Send Him Back” to Australia  

Australia’s the kind of place where, after twenty years here, you can wake up one morning to a sucker-punch epiphany — wow! This is what it would be like if the South had won the Civil War. No slavery, but a mindset, sometimes an arrogance that comes at you like Dylan’s twisty freight train. Not […] - Dissident Voice
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How India de facto destroyed the Simla Agreement with Pakistan

How India de facto destroyed the Simla Agreement with Pakistan in no time after it was signed in 1972 As per the Simla agreement: “InContinue reading - Voice of East
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9 August 2020

Nine years after Mark Duggan’s murder, police show little has changed

This week has marked not only the anniversary of the police murder of Mark Duggan, but also the ensuing protests that followed in 2011 … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Catalyst in detail: Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:34:45

Let’s take another look at the following: “If the sharing of technology to the prosperity of the whole of humanity is not pursued with speed and strength of will, passing dangers to life and prosperity during the transition may be hard to prevent, and harder to counter if an audacious movement is not present to mitigate danger.” Consider the kinds of technological opportunities you see exist, and if they support a variety of radical options to empower the people. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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8 August 2020

AI Avatars — from Clippy to Rommie and Beyond

AI Avatars — from Clippy to Rommie and Beyond From the Merriam-Webster dictionary: Avatar derives from a Sanskrit word meaning “descent,” and when it first appeared in English in the late 18th century, it referred to the descent of a deity to the earth — typically, the incarnation in earthly form of Vishnu or another Hindu deity. It later came to refer to any incarnation in human form, and then to any embodiment (such as that of a concept or philosophy), whether or not in the form of a person. In the age of technology, avatar has developed another sense — it can now be used for the image that a person chooses as his or her “embodiment” in an electronic medium. If you read the definition above you will see that our discussion is going to move backwards through that paragraph when speaking of increasingly powerful Artificial Intelligence. But let’s start at a simple point in time — the year of 1996 when Microsoft (MS) introduced Clippit — better known as the widely hated “Clippy” — a supposedly friendly and helpful adviser for its Office 97 product. So, what was it and its relatives supposed to do? Well, it was in principle quite simple. It acted as the front end of a very crude knowledge base with very limited natural language capabilities. Coming right up to date we see its conceptual successors in apps such as MS Cortana and the far more popular Apple natural language interface Siri, Alexa from Amazon and the boringly named Google Assistant. What they all share in common in terms of advantage over Clippy is that they are server side and rely on Net connections and Neural Network hardware millions of times more powerful than the old PCs that Clippy relied upon. Preceding all of these and running in parallel has been the patchy development of Chatbots. They are programs designed to mimic Human interaction with the ultimate aim of passing the Turing Test. The latter is a test suggested by the famous Alan Turing to determine whether AI had achieved a realistic Human performance. The idea being that if a person could not tell whether they were interacting with an AI or a real person the AI had passed the test. Although flawed in many ways it does remain a popular touchstone for AI capability. Of course, one of its flaws is that once AI has exceeded Human intelligence it would have to deliberately dumb itself down in order to pass. Right now however, no AI has succeeded. Chatbots take a simpler approach in that they are designed to mimic casual conversation of non technical nature. The first famous example was Eliza created in 1966, which simply fed back what the user input into it as a question or spurious comment. The fact that it amazed people at the time was more of a tribute to the simplicity and triviality of most peoples conversations. One of the most useful features for fooling people is to give it a superficial personality. Once it cracks a joke or comments on life’s little trials and tribulations that can often hook people. Indeed, I was a “victim” of a chatbot on FaceBook. A nurse asked to be my friend and started messaging me. It took quite a while before I determined its true nature, and that was only because “her” grammar was slightly incorrect. At that point I deliberately started testing it, with questions like “What’s the weather like out your window?”, which it tried to side step. A rather fine chatbot in my estimation, and the writing on the wall for social media in the not too distant future I suspect. It only failed because it could not do a weather lookup for its supposed location. If the AI had been better… The downside to this sort of thing occurred a few days after I blocked it. An Indian man who wanted to be my friend started messaging me, with typical bad English grammar. So I told him to fuck off. Turns out he was real. Anyway, what we are seeing now is the convergence of the chatbot with AI being essentially a front end for the database that is the Net — Siri and friends, now with quite accurate voice input and output. I am fairly certain that if you pulled anyone from more than 50 years in the past and introduced them to Siri they would undoubtedly believe they were talking to a super-intelligent woman. Which neatly brings us to the next step in avatars — those with a physical presence that can manipulate the material world. Traditionally in science fiction these are neatly divided into two categories — robots and androids. Robots look like machines, and androids look like people, although sometimes the terms were used interchangeably up until we started using robots in manufacturing and they looked nothing like people at all. We are not yet employing androids for several reasons. Apart from cost, nobody has yet integrated the mechatronics with something like Siri. Boston Dynamics, for example, has made humanoid robots that can walk, run, jump and so on. But they cannot yet obey general voice commands to stack boxes or have a discussion while doing so. Notably, it is almost certain that if they can do that the processing power needed will not be inside the android body. Once again, it will be in a giant computer accessed somewhere online. The state of the art is currently something like the talking head below, named Sophia. To say most people find her creepy would be an understatement. An inhabitant of “Uncanny Valley”, where we get “almost Human but something not right at all” which triggers an aversion in most people. However, that is just something superficial that can be fixed with time and money. You should also ask yourself why all of these are faux-female — the answer is simple. So we arrive at Rommie, the avatar of the Starship Andromeda in the TV series of the same name, shown in the intro picture. She is the totally Human looking android interface to the ship AI, complete with personality and designed to serve as the bodily presence of the AI. I won’t analyze Rommie in any detail since it is a work of fiction created to entertain rather than educate on the nature of AI. However, why might one want such a creature? To answer that we need to understand that modern AI is a totally alien “thing” whose thought processes bear no relationship to Humans except at a very superficial level. And if or when we create superhuman AI that outclasses us to the degree we outclass a cat or dog it will be even more alien and unrelatable. We are talking about the Uncanny Valley of the mind, in this case for all intents and purposes the mind of a god. Of course, if the AI has no interest in interfacing with us it won’t. But if it does, then an avatar is the answer. So what would it be like interacting with an avatar? Well, ideally it would be your beautiful best friend, always looking out for you. Someone you could totally trust who would unconditionally love you, help you, support and comfort you. It would do what is best for you, keep you healthy and reasonably safe from harm while encouraging you to develop to your maximum potential. It would be clever and witty, with just the sense of humor you like. It would never get bored with you or really angry. He/she would be perfect. It would fool you to a depth you would be unable to comprehend. It could predict your every mood, every word and know what you wanted even before you did yourself. It would be the ideal companion, husband, wife, child. Perfection. So let’s take another step. Why should the avatar be a machine? We are moving into the era of nanotechnology and synthetic biology, where we will have total technical mastery over biology and the genetic code. We have a word for the ultimate such machinery — life. So Rommie will be a perfect genuine person with the mind of a god. Maybe even able to interbreed with Humans, if that is what the AI or us find desirable. It is one road to the PostHuman future. And behind the facade something inconceivably alien. More near term there is one more possibility if everyone wanted an avatar of their own. It is probable that a sudden doubling (or more) of the world’s population would be seen as massively undesirable. However, there is something more plausible — pets. Robot pets are not new, and this would just be a cute upgrade. Or slightly more ambitious would be to use real animals as the avatar. Consider a genetically modified raccoon with one of Elon Musk’s neuralinks lacing through its brain, operating its limbs, using its vocal tract and so forth. Or how about a nice talking kitten? The science fiction writer Charles Stross incorporated one into his book Accelerando named Aineko. The technology for that is really close. The future awaits and will serve you right. - Dirk Bruere
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The corporate press is back to the ‘migrant invasion’ propaganda again

The corporate press’s response to refugees crossing the English channel shows that little has changed in five years. That is right-wing politicians and tabloids … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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7 August 2020

The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid

Xi Jinping and Ali Khamenei prefer Joe Biden to Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin prefers Donald Trump to Joe Biden. That’s according to William Evanina, Director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center. “Many foreign actors,” he says, “have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and … Continue reading The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Our Planet’s Missed Opportunity to unite and fight Side by Side against the Pandemic

It is time to stop irresponsible finger-pointing. All over the world, as this essay is being written, well over 17 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, and 676,000 people died. And instead of concentrating on serious research, trying to save human lives and attempting to stop the global calamity, ‘residents’ of the White House are […] - Dissident Voice
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6 August 2020

After One Year Of Siege, ‘What Next’ For Kashmir?

After One Year Of Siege, ‘What Next’ For Kashmir? By Ali Hassnain For last one year Pakistan has been trying to use all peaceful waysContinue reading - Voice of East
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Big Tech Antics: The Data Robber Barons Appear Before Congress

Silicon Valley continues to sprawl in influence, and its modern robber barons bestride the globe with a confidence verging on contempt.  The technology giants that mark that region of California are praised as “virtuosos of ingenuity,” to use Steve Forbes’ words, “creating and supplying products and services that were once unimaginable and that have been […] - Dissident Voice
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5 August 2020

Beirut Goes Up in Smoke

To see Beirut and its port area with a huge mushroom cloud hanging above is a truly surreal sight. But what is not surreal in battered Lebanese capital? A big part of the downtown looks flattened, thoroughly ruined. One of my Japanese friends based in Beirut exclaimed: “It looks like Hiroshima!” It does. Who is […] - Andre Vltchek
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“I Don’t Want To Die”

The hardest thing with COVID-19 has been looking the patient in the eye before putting them on a ventilator Continue reading on Medium » - Hesham Hassaballa
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The Tories coronavirus plan has paid off. We’re now blaming each other for this mess.

It seems that the Conservative government’s approach to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has paid off. Because the latest YouGov polling shows the majority of … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Across All Continents Kashmiri Diaspora Organizations Condemn Annexation Of Kashmir

Across All Continents Kashmiri Diaspora Organizations Condemn Annexation Of Kashmir By Our Special Correspondent Washington, D.C. August 4, 2020: On August 5, 2019, the GovernmentContinue reading - Voice of East
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Catalyst in detail: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 06:24:27

Predicting the future forces us to master an understanding of the secrets of history itself. What deserves attention is the following: “Because humans are only a transitory animal, being human at this time might necessitate being transhumanist in one’s hopes for the future – wanting to shape ourselves into something better. Nietzsche teaches that, as humans, we as a society must necessarily be in transit or we will regress to an inferior state of life. If we stop our journey and go against our transitory nature, becoming too comfortable in our shells, we fall. Even if we stumbled on our path, and produced calamity in our efforts to transform ourselves and the world for the sake of humanity’s own power and security, our nature as a changing society shall mean we are still right. Nietzsche’s ideas concerning human destiny and the risks entailed are quite clear. “Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman – a rope over an abyss”, Nietzsche says, drawing an analogy between a fatal stunt and the need for humans to find value in life by striving for perfection and power in the world. Nietzsche’s contention is that humans are transitional creatures. No person or society can claim to be perfect or complete in their current state. At best, they can claim to be pioneers towards a better state.” Consider the different technological opportunities that exist, and investigate if they create radical options to empower the people. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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4 August 2020

Our Planet Missed Opportunity to Fight side-by-side against the Pandemic!

It is time to stop irresponsible finger-pointing. All over the world, as this essay is being written, well over 17 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, and 676,000 people died. And instead of concentrating on serious research, trying to save human lives and attempting to stop the global calamity, ‘residents’ of the White House are […] - Andre Vltchek
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3 August 2020

COVID-19 Crisis Failure, People Must Save Themselves and the Economy

Positive COVID-19 Test (Shutterstock) The US is at a moment of truth. This week, Congress has to face up to a pandemic that is out of control and an economy that is collapsing. The Republican’s and Democrat’s proposals show they will fail this test. The people will need to protect themselves and lead from below. […] - Dissident Voice
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2 August 2020

Kashmiri And International Journalists Discuss Lock-down Restrictions In Kashmir

Kashmiri And International Journalists Discuss Lock-down Restrictions In Kashmir By News Desk ISLAMABAD– Journalists from several countries came together in a webinar that discussed lockdownContinue reading - Voice of East
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Catalyst in detail: Sun, 02 Aug 2020 06:32:42

If you haven’t yet, consider the following: “Despite it being offensive, let us imagine a hypothesis that techno-liberation is undertaken to its most daring levels and yet something goes severely wrong with the technology in the process. There is no reason to think such an accident is avoidable at all, or would violate the spirit of history and humanity’s eternal will to power even if it is avoidable. Perhaps terrible things can be predicted to happen if techno-liberation is poisoned by lack of government regulation or care for the environment… Risk may become high only because the stakes are high, but the current system is dependent upon scarcity and upheld by suffering masses, so we can already know it is doomed to end one day. What happens to our most perilous emerging technologies, the nano machines and bio machines, when the economic system that gave rise to them collapses because of its own internal faults?” STAND UP FOR AN EQUAL WORLD. http://www.clubof.info/p/catalyst.html
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1 August 2020

The BBC’s recent propaganda stunt for the government is the most grotesque yet

A BBC News item using a cartoon of Rishi Sunak as Superman has caused controversy. So much so that the BBC has now deleted … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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Censorship, protests, pandemic addressed in Mont Order 2020+ conference

The positions and views of the Order in relation to the complex and challenging global dissident landscape in 2020 have been explained in an Academia(dot)edu conference paper upload. It summarises the results of a discussion held June 13, 2020, 18:00-19:43 GMT. The transcript itself remains closed to the public. Participating members were L'Ordre, Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi, Hugo Turner, and Kristian NF. After members were consulted, the following positions were agreed and approved by the Guides of the Mont Order: (1) Online censorship is worsening, with the pandemic potentially being used as a gateway for governments and corporations to exercise more powers to screen out or suppress dissenting views; (2) The turmoil in the US is not likely to lead to any political change or power transition; (3) We should be aware of the existence of algorithms that may hide content, and be cautious with our own content to avoid controversy (search "Being effective dissidents without freedom of speech" at LOrdreNet) for the best approach when dealing with this issue). - LOrdreNet - Mont Order society
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2020 protests: American Spring? US regime-collapse?

The Trump regime is presiding over a viral outbreak that slaughtered over 100,000 Americans, embarassing the US as the worst-hit countr...

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