There’s an out of control trolley speeding towards Immanuel Kant. You have the ability to pull a lever and change the trolley’s path so it hits Jeremy Bentham instead. Jeremy Bentham clutches the only existing copy of Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. Kant holds the only existing copy of Bentham’s The Principles of Morals and Legislation. Both of them are shouting at you that they have recently started to reconsider their ethical stances.
Bonus: the Trolly Hall Problem
Mervyn O’Gorman was 42 when he took these pictures of his daughter, Christina O’Gorman at Lulworth Cove, in the English county of Dorset. He photographed Christina wearing a red swimming costume and red cloak, a colour particularly suited to the early color Autochrome process. Autochrome was one of the first colour photo technologies, which used glass plates coated in potato starches to filter pictures with dye. To his friends, Mervyn O’Gorman was “O.G.” He had qualified as an electrical engineer and worked for cabling companies, and in 1909 he became superintendent of the Royal Balloon Factory, later the Royal Aircraft Factory. He was an enthusiastic early motorist, and published O’Gorman’s Motoring Pocket Book in 1904. Yet O’Gorman’s hobby was photography. He took these images in 1913.
Ages ago, when I was a history graduate student doing research about Turkey’s role in the First World War, I got into the Turkish General Staff archives in Ankara and found the actual telegrams (written in the old riqa script) that went back and forth between Istanbul and eastern Anatolia in the spring of 1915.
Later on I saw the British and Russian documents on their plans for joint action with Armenian revolutionaries in the spring of 1915, so I also know the context in which the Turks and Armenians were acting. And I can say with some confidence that both sides are wrong.
Okay, warning, I’m wearing my cynical hat right now
One of the messages the EU heads of state and government are expected to deliver at their extraordinary summit today (23 April) is that the Union cannot absorb any more mass arrivals of migrants, as they risk undermining it economically, and destroying it politically.
“destroying it politically” meaning the politicians run the risk of losing their job. boo-hoo-hoo
Diplomats said that the summit will come up with four main messages. The first is that the EU is ready to save lives. Indeed, leaders are likely to agree on doubling the cash and equipment available to two Union border patrol missions in the Mediterranean, a senior diplomat said.
Italy spent about 9 million euro / month on a similar mission before they gave up and let the EU take over. The mission they now are going to “double” had a 2 million / month budget. Do the math.
The second message is to traffickers, with EU leaders making it clear that “their business model would be destroyed”. It is expected that the the summit will authorise EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to immediately begin preparations for a possible security and defence policy operation against human traffickers in Libya.
To “begin preparation” for a “possible policy”… so they will start thinking about something they might decide is something they do or do not want to happen… and that helps, how exactly?
The third message will be for migrants, whom the EU will try to discourage from coming to Europe. “Europe has its limits, the individual member states, the individual societies have their limits,” a diplomat said, adding that further arrivals of migrants are unsustainable economically and risk destroying the EU.
Okay – if you are fleeing for war, that’s a message that will really make you go somewhere else… no, wait, it won’t.
The fourth message is an internal one: that more solidarity between member states was needed in terms of burden-sharing, though it is not actually expected.
So, listen, guys… no, really, listen. Please help. I know you won’t and I don’t expect you to, but, please, help?
What a bunch of failures. So nothing will happen.
The issue appears to be the bill’s lack of specificity. The PCNA would allow for data to flow between corporations via a government intermediary. Crucially, there are provisions that would allow the government to use these data outside of cyber threats. The civil liberties groups criticize the bill for allowing any data to also be used with the Espionage Act, making it ripe for abuse for things such as surveillance of journalists and their sources. While all this is going on, there’s still the very real threat of more large scale attacks on corporations that could expose this very same data to anyone on the internet. The bill is still being finalized as it awaits approval from the Senate.
A Wichita State University mathematician sued the top Kansas election official Wednesday, seeking paper tapes from electronic voting machines in an effort to explain statistical anomalies favoring Republicans in counts coming from large precincts across the country.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the host of The Dr. Oz Show who has come under fire by 10 prominent doctors for “promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain,” told his audience on Tuesday that he “will not be silenced.” “This month, we celebrate my 1000th show,” Oz said. “I know I’ve irritated some potential allies in our quest to make America healthy. No matter our disagreements, freedom of speech is the most fundamental right we have as Americans. And these 10 doctors are trying to silence that right…So I vow to you right here and right now: we will not be silenced, we will not give in.” The 10 doctors have called for Oz to resign from his faculty position at Columbia University.
I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it&’s not literally illegal to express.
Yesterday we wrote about how Sony’s high-powered lawyer on retainer, David Boies, had apparently been sending major media properties an idiotic letter warning them not to report on the leaked Sony hack emails. And then, what did we find in our mail on Monday afternoon? A copy of the same damn letter of our very own. How thoughtful of David Boies to send us a personally signed copy. I’ve asked my staff to frame it and hang it on the wall. I hope that he’s charging Sony top dollar to send us a letter we’d already mocked as ridiculous, wrong on the law and pointless.
Anyway, given that we’ve now personally received our own copy, I feel semi-obligated to respond — and to respond in public.
So, David, Leah and Sony Corp. — our official response is: go pound sand.
One of those “luck-seekers” – stepped on a boat to “steal” our wealth, to cause unrest in our society, and drag down Europe into misery.
Look at her. Perhaps she was planning a terrorist attack. Because that’s what “those” people do, right? Muslim and therefore terrorist.
Goddamn LOOK at her. These are people. Not statistics, but people with dreams and fears. With the will to search for improvements in live.
A few hours before she was likely sitting on her mothers lap. A mother who no doubt told her all would be well. That there was a whole new world waiting for her. A better world, without fear, without violence. That somewhere there are people who would help, arrange bed, bread and bath. Education. Because the world isn’t just war and misery. Because there are countries where people live who care about their fellow human beings.
Look at her. That could be her favorite dress, but more likely it’s her only one. And realize her mother was wrong. A painful realization, but true nonetheless.
Europe should be ashamed. And if you too think “they” should stay away, shame on you.
(photo credit: VICE (documentary still). Post credit Chris Klomp)
Handsome, tall, and somewhat gangly, the 41-year-old Congregationalist minister bore more than a passing resemblance to Jimmy Stewart. Addressing the crowd of business leaders, Fifield delivered a passionate defense of the American system of free enterprise and a withering assault on its perceived enemies in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. Decrying the New Deal’s “encroachment upon our American freedoms,” the minister listed a litany of sins committed by the Democratic government, ranging from its devaluation of currency to its disrespect for the Supreme Court. Singling out the regulatory state for condemnation, he denounced “the multitude of federal agencies attached to the executive branch” and warned ominously of “the menace of autocracy approaching through bureaucracy.”
It all sounds familiar enough today, but Fifield’s audience of executives was stunned. Over the preceding decade, as America first descended into and then crawled its way out of the Great Depression, the these titans of industry had been told, time and time again, that they were to blame for the nation’s downfall. Fifield, in contrast, insisted that they were the source of its salvation.
They just needed to do one thing: Get religion.
Fifield told the industrialists that clergymen would be crucial in regaining the upper hand in their war with Roosevelt. As men of God, ministers could voice the same conservative complaints as business leaders, but without any suspicion that they were motivated solely by self-interest. They could push back against claims, made often by Roosevelt and his allies, that business had somehow sinned and the welfare state was doing God’s work. The assembled industrialists gave a rousing amen. “When he had finished,” a journalist noted, “rumors report that the N.A.M. applause could be heard in Hoboken.”
It was a watershed moment—the beginning of a movement that would advance over the 1940s and early 1950s a new blend of conservative religion, economics and politics that one observer aptly anointed “Christian libertarianism.” Fifield and like-minded ministers saw Christianity and capitalism as inextricably intertwined, and argued that spreading the gospel of one required spreading the gospel of the other. The two systems had been linked before, of course, but always in terms of their shared social characteristics. Fifield’s innovation was his insistence that Christianity and capitalism were political soul mates, first and foremost.
Even his best-known pseudonym, Haji Bakr, wasn’t widely known. But that was precisely part of the plan. The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.
But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. SPIEGEL has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. They reveal a multilayered composition and directives for action, some already tested and others newly devised for the anarchical situation in Syria’s rebel-held territories. In a sense, the documents are the source code of the most successful terrorist army in recent history.
Basically, you go on your app, order weed, it tells you how long it’ll be, then it gets dropped off. Simple, but very effective. Weed delivered in a quarter of an hour. Beats waiting in the cold on a street corner for a divvy in his car to pull up half an hour late, blaring Dr Dre and making it as on top as possible.
Eaze is currently operating in 35 cities, but the huge cash injections mean that it can expand massively.
Really? “Uber for weed”? How about Instagram? Tweeder? Facebake? Plantdora?
It’s easy to assume that workers earning less than $15 is a small subset of the workforce. But, in fact, 42% of all workers in the United States fit this bill. Just over half of all African Americans earn less than $15 an hour, and nearly 60% of Latinos make that hourly sum.
In the last 5 years, the 200 most politically active companies in the US spent $5.8 billion influencing our government with lobbying and campaign contributions. Those same companies got $4.4 trillion in taxpayer support — earning a return of 750 times their investment. If you can afford to buy access, times have never been better.
Albert and Bernard just met Cheryl. “When’s your birthday?” Albert asked Cheryl.
Cheryl thought a second and said, “I’m not going to tell you, but I’ll give you some clues.” She wrote down a list of 10 dates:
May 15, May 16, May 19
June 17, June 18
July 14, July 16
August 14, August 15, August 17
“My birthday is one of these,” she said.
Then Cheryl whispered in Albert’s ear the month — and only the month — of her birthday. To Bernard, she whispered the day, and only the day.
“Can you figure it out now?” she asked Albert.
Albert: I don’t know when your birthday is, but I know Bernard doesn’t know, either.
Bernard: I didn’t know originally, but now I do.
Albert: Well, now I know, too!
When is Cheryl’s birthday?
The centrally planned Soviet economy was poorly prepared for computerization. Its cumbersome bureaucracy was too slow to implement rapid changes in production and distribution, and it was ruled by industrial ministries which, like separate fiefdoms, did not want to share their information or decision-making power. Each ministry therefore created its own information management system, disconnected from and incompatible with the others. Instead of transforming the top-down economy into a self-regulating system, bureaucrats used their new cybernetic models and computers to protect their power. Expensive and largely useless information management systems were strewn across the country.
The results of top-down computerization were devastating. New computer systems accumulated ever-increasing amounts of raw data and generated terrifying heaps of paperwork. In the early 1970s, roughly 4 billion documents per year circulated through the Soviet economy. By the mid-1980s, after Herculean efforts to computerize the bureaucratic apparatus, this figure rose by a factor of 200 to about 800 billion documents, or 3,000 documents for every Soviet citizen. All this information still had to pass through narrow channels of centralized, hierarchical distribution, squeezed by institutional barriers and secrecy restrictions. Management became totally unwieldy. To get an approval for the production of an ordinary flat iron, for example, a factory manager had to collect more than 60 signatures. Technological innovation became a bureaucratic nightmare.
Big Brother, who wanted to see everything and know everything, became overwhelmed with information that was often distorted by lower-level officials trying to present a rosy picture. Vast clogs of inaccurate information paralyzed the decision-making mechanism, while accurate information was exchanged only locally, like black-market goods or forbidden books in the samizdat. Computers, once vilified and now championed, were constant in one thing: They amplified the virtues and deficits of the system that implemented them. After all, the key idea behind cybernetics was control via feedback. In the hands of self-motivated free agents, it was a powerful economic engine. In the hands of a single controlling agency, it brought stagnation. Or, as computer scientists like to say, “garbage in, garbage out.” Called in to prove the superiority of socialism, information technology eventually proved the ineffectiveness of the Soviet regime.
The irony of the situation was not lost on Soviet humor. As one joke tells it, Brezhnev is gifted with the latest in artificial intelligence, so he asks it “When will we have built communism?” The computer responds, “In 17 miles.” Brezhnev thinks, “There must be something wrong,” and repeats the question. The computer again replies, “In 17 miles.” Angered by the incomprehensible reply, Brezhnev orders a technician to investigate the machine. “Everything is correct,” replies the technician after some time. “You said it yourself: Every five-year plan is one step toward communism.”
An Arkansas lawyer is seeking sanctions after his computer expert found malware on an external hard drive supplied in response to a discovery request.
Lawyer Matthew Campbell of North Little Rock says he became suspicious when he received the hard drive by Federal Express in June 2014 from a lawyer for the Fort Smith Police Department, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. Previous evidence in the police whistleblower case had been provided by email or a cloud-based Internet storage service, or had been shipped through the U.S. Postal Service.
“I thought, ‘I’m not plugging that into my computer,’ ” Campbell told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Something didn’t add up in the way they approached it, so I sent it to my software guy first.”
The technology expert found four Trojans on the hard drive. “These Trojans were designed to steal passwords, install malicious software and give someone else command and control of the infected computer,” Campbell says in a brief supporting his motion for sanctions (PDF).
After several seconds spent sitting motionless and glaring directly into the camera, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly began Sunday’s video announcing her 2016 presidential bid by warning the nation not to fuck this up for her. “Listen up, assholes, ’cause I’m only saying this once: I’ve worked way too goddamn hard to let you morons blow this thing for me,” said Clinton, repeatedly jabbing her index finger toward the viewers at home while adding that if they thought she was going to simply sit back and watch them dick her over like they did in 2008, they were out of their fucking minds. “Seriously, don’t you dare even think about it. If you shitheads can just get in line, we can breeze through this whole campaign in 19 months and be done with it. Or, if you really want, we can do this the hard way. Because make no mistake, I’m not fucking around. Got it?” Clinton then ended her announcement by vowing to fight for a better future for all working-class families like the one she grew up in.
When Harry met Ron on the Hogwarts Express, Ron told him he had five older brothers and Harry said, “I have one.”
Why was a 73-year-old insurance company executive playing cop?
That’s the simple question many are asking more than a week after an undercover Tulsa police operation went wrong — and a white reserve deputy sheriff shot and killed an unarmed black man, apparently by accident. He has not been charged with a crime.
El hecho ocurrió esta madrugada en Córdoba, luego de que 3 delincuentes armados ingresaran a la casa. En un descuido, el dueño tomó una katana, de esas que suelen colgar en la pared, y los enfrentó. Los delincuentes fueron detenidos e internados. También fueron atendidos los dueños de la casa que recibieron varios golpes durante el robo.
Picture gallery here.
“Our kids dying should not be a tax deduction.”
That’s the message from Laura Christian, mother of Amber Marie Rose the teen who was killed in July 2005 in an accident while driving a GM (GM) car outfitted with a defective ignition switch .
Christian has written to GM and several senators objecting to a tax deduction the automaker is getting for the $400 million compensation fund it set up to pay victims and their families.
Most fines and settlements that corporations pay to settle cases, including the billions paid by major banks since the financial crisis, are generally tax deductible. Christian said that she’d like to see the U.S. tax code changed so that all these fines and settlements are no longer tax deductible, but that her highest priority is any payments related to an injury or death.
“If GM is taking a deduction for these ignition switch settlements, then taxpayers, including GM victims, are literally paying General Motors for the deaths it caused,” she said in the letter to GM.
As someone who attempts to make experiences with technology better, it makes me sad to think that my work might be making people unhappy. There has been some research to show that rising tech correlates to happiness, but most studies are designed to reinforce the idea that technology seems to erode happiness. If you look at what makes people happy rarely is an app or a website in the mix. Happiness, it seems, is not a screen.
Yet, I’ve seen first-hand that a website can provide moments of joy. I’ve observed people smiling at their smartphones. I’ve listened to stories about how an app changed someone’s life in a positive way. While there has been wise discussion about how design makes us happy or how good design demonstrates some of the principles of positive psychology, there is not a lot of data about it available.
With this in mind, two years ago I began tracking happiness and design in an online study, hoping to understand what makes people happy online. My company created a purpose-built app to capture an event stream, collect data about interactions, create opportunities for describing the experience, and ask questions – about happiness, but also ease of use, engagement, and likelihood to return to or recommend. All of these measures have helped me test my hypothesis that happiness in the short-term might influence behavior in the long-term.
Conservative energy and climate change minister Matthew Hancock has taken £18,000 from a key backer of the UK’s leading climate sceptic lobby group, the Guardian can disclose.
According to official records, Hancock has accepted five donations over the years from City currency manager Neil Record, who has given money to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and is on the board of its campaigning arm.
Asked whether Hancock had ever discussed energy policy with Record and declared the link to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, a spokeswoman for the minister said: “All donations are declared publicly and proper process followed.”
So there are proper procedures when you want to buy a UK politician…
Between the time when he shot and killed Scott early Saturday morning and when charges were filed, Slager — using the both the police department and his attorney — was able to provide his “version” of the events. He appeared well on his way to avoiding charges and pinning the blame on Scott.
A new report by ThinkProgress.com unearthed disturbing figures when it came to the number of police-related deaths that occurred in America in the month of March alone.
Just last month, in the 31 days of March, police in the United States killed more people than the UK did in the entire 20th century. In fact, it was twice as many; police in the UK only killed 52 people during that 100 year period.
According to the report by ThinkProgess, in March alone, 111 people died during police encounters — 36 more than the previous month.
This high number in March increased the average for police killings from every 8.5 hours, to nearly 1 police killing every 6.5 hours in the US.
China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.
On average, US police kill people at a rate 70 times higher than any of the other first world countries as they “protect and serve” the American citizens.
A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.
The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.