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Jani Monoses
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Jani Monoses

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"California families are concerned and ready to take action. Responsible citizens will be taking shorter showers, shutting off the water while brushing their teeth, and only washing clothes with a full load. But what most people don’t know is the much greater impact of their diet."

h/t +Angela Doerksen 
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You may not be aware that the FBI no longer considers itself to primarily be a law enforcement agency. At some point in the last year, it updated its official documentation to reflect that it now considers itself to be, first and foremost, a "national security" agency. When asked about the change by Foreign Policy's John Hudson, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson explained that this reflected a change in the Bureau's mission post-9/11, when they evaluated their top ten priorities, the top three were "[counterterrorism], counterintelligence, and cyber [security]." The change in their documentation simply publicly reflects this shift - which has also included a large-scale transfer of manpower from criminal investigation, both white-collar and violent, to secret investigations in the "security" sphere. The consequences are significant: white-collar prosecutions dropped from 10,000 per year to 3,500 per year from 2000 to 2005. (Interestingly, around the time that the mortgage industry skullduggery was heating up)

Now, I may be old-fashioned, but I think there's a certain value to the United States having a federal law-enforcement agency, especially with the wide variety of complex new crimes that have arisen in the past decades. I'm far less convinced that the US needs its own Second Directorate, a police agency dedicated to secret investigations of a sort which might result in "detention," but rarely prosecution. The argument that these are unprosecutable because of the sensitivity of methods is, more and more, an argument that the secret investigations of police must never be examined, because the police must remain secret.

I've seen secret police organizations before. I've even seen ones calling themselves departments, ministries, committees, and bureaus of national, state, and homeland security. Last time I checked, they were what America spent most of the twentieth century fighting. Did we just decide to chuck it all and say, "Hey, USSR - looks like you were right after all. Sorry about the whole 'democracy' bit. Hey, can you give us some tips on infiltration?"

I sure as hell didn't. And I hope you didn't, either.

h/t +Alex Scrivener for finding the story. 
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So, let's see. In the United States, we now have the National Security Agency, The CounterIntelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, that are all secret federal agencies. And let us not forget each branch of the military has its own investigative units. Which one is public? I forgot.
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Short write-up of my experience with QML. Also, my first game I think.

http://janimo.blogspot.ro/2013/11/my-first-ubuntu-phone-app.html
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That's what public posts are for :)
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A letter in opposition to mass surveillance, please distribute. There is a wide range of technical expertise on this letter, and we are united by our rejection of the NSA excuses for mass surveillance.
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This is the end of course letter of a really enjoyable class.

https://www.coursera.org/course/humankind

Dear XY,

Our common journey through the history of humankind is coming to an end. I hope that you have enjoyed the course as much as I did, and that you leave the course with a better understanding of history, of the human species, and perhaps even of yourself personally.

            People often ask, what is the purpose of studying history? They sometimes imagine that we study history in order to predict the future, or in order to learn from past mistakes. In my view, we should study history not in order to learn from the past, but in order to be free of it.

Each of us is born into a particular world, governed by a particular system of norms and values, and a particular economic and political order. Since we are born into it, we take the surrounding reality to be natural and inevitable, and we tend to think that the way people today live their lives is the only possible way. We seldom realize that the world we know is the accidental outcome of chance historical events, which condition not only our technology, politics and economics but even the way we think and dream. This is how the past grips us by the back of the head, and turn our eyes towards a single possible future. We have felt the grip of the past from the moment we were born, so we don’t even notice it. The study of history aims to loosen this grip, and to enable us to turn our head around more freely, to think in new ways, and to see many more possible futures.

I hope that by introducing you to the history of humankind, this course has helped loosen the grip of the past.

 

yours,

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari 
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I resolved not to buy any new books before I finish the ones I already have on the tablet. I am hereby breaking this resolution in style, via  a six pack of Vonnegut (a superset of the two I already have in paper)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_390388042_12?ie=UTF8&docId=1001429291&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1FVT1Q32BSEX3WH1WXDZ&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1655454202&pf_rd_i=1000677541
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Unfortunately, it is unread. It seems like I grab a new one every time I read one. I write reviews of the ones I read, but I can only read about 50 books a year now.
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So far I found this class more insightful and interesting than any history-themed documentary on Discovery Channel or similar. It takes a bio-global (the professor's own words), macro-historical approach, without mentioning too many individual's names or exact dates - those which usually turn history classes  into a mere collection of data points filtered according to some vague criteria of importance. The lecturer is smart and seems even more so when playing at 2X speed in the UI. 

https://www.coursera.org/course/humankind
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