late july mutants

Now this is kind of mind-blowing: Global wildlife decline driving slave labor, organized crime.

“Global decline of wildlife populations is driving increases in violent conflicts, organized crime and child labor around the world, according to a policy paper led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Good Amazon: Amazon is making a pilot for a TV show based on Philip K Dick’s The Man in The High Castle.

Bad Amazon: about 900 writers have joined a campaign against Amazon’s treatment of Hachette. This is an interesting flashpoint in the future of publishing.

The times they are a-changing. The editorial board of the New York Times just came out for marijuana reform in America.

“It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.”

Oh and also, California passed a bill to legalise complementary currencies.

This one is probably the must-read of the batch, and one I will return to when I have a bit more brain focus: Evgeny Morozov on algorythmic regulation. Kinda the convergence point of smart-everything, big data, and social control.

What’s New In Social Science? EDGE curated, 10 speakers, 6 hours of video,  58000 word PDF, all free, “focusing on the state of the art of what the social sciences have to tell us about human nature”.

Saw the excellent doco “Jodorowsky’s Dune” yesterday, about the greatest movie almost made. In synchronicity, came across this quote about Frank Herbert and Dune:

Frank went on to tell me that much of the premise of Dune — the magic spice (spores) that allowed the bending of space (tripping), the giant worms (maggots digesting mushrooms), the eyes of the Freman (the cerulean blue of Psilocybe mushrooms), the mysticism of the female spiritual warriors, the Bene Gesserits (influenced by tales of Maria Sabina and the sacred mushroom cults of Mexico) — came from his perception of the fungal life cycle, and his imagination was stimulated through his experiences with the use of magic mushrooms.

Buy your own giant plush Ebola Virus toy. No, seriously.

 

 

 

And Earth just had its hottest June ever, boosted by hottest ocean temperatures.

Hmm. That may be enough for an hour and half of trawling, have a few long pieces queued up to read still…

 

2 Responses to “late july mutants”

  1.   bruce
    August 7th, 2014 | 7:59 pm

    >How do we build welfarism that is both decentralised and ultrastable? A form of guaranteed basic income – whereby some welfare services are replaced by direct cash transfers to citizens – fits the two criteria.

    From the algorithmic regulation post. nice to see this idea popping up a lot, as it’s becoming my pet hobby horse…

    The really huge underlying problem here is the problem with measurement, which seems to me to be so poorly understood. Measurement is always not only imprecise but embedded in a frame of evaluative reference which is only a model. When they give examples like rewarding/penalizing people for going to the Gym it makes me shudder, as this is a great example of a profit driven scenario of human health which while it may correlate with good results obscures any other possible means of being healthy.

    This is the threat of the panopticon– coercion. But the promise of this scenario is to capture data without preconceived notions in order to build better models that can then be offered noncoercively to everyone equally.

  2.   Billy
    August 8th, 2014 | 6:23 pm

    Implementation is a bitch. The same infrastructure can be used to enslave or liberate…