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David Brin
60,668 followers -
Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.
Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.

60,668 followers
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TASAT! A bold new endeavor that may use science fiction to save us all! That's the topic of this weekend's posting. A way that you nerdy types might serve as a sci-fi action team! Poised to step in when humanity might most need a sense of perspective or the unusual ideas that only SF can provide.

Come learn about TASAT! Join up, or else critique the project. There may come a time when YOUR memory of some obscure story might make all the difference.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/11/your-nerdy-love-of-sci-fi-could-save.html
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“The US stock market as a percentage of GDP is now far bigger than it was at the housing bubble’s peak, and it’s rapidly approaching the dot-com bubble peak. That ought to make us a little nervous as we watch the Dow hit new all-time highs.” Says John Mauldin. I’m not saying it will pop tomorrow… nor does John. But just look at the chart.

Let's be clear. This is the underlying reason for the GOP Tax Bill. Feed the bubble at the top for a little longer.
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Daniel Jeffries offers a fascinating view into crypto-currencies, Bitcoin and the art of predicting an uncertain future. He’s also a science fiction author. Lively stuff.

https://hackernoon.com/what-will-bitcoin-look-like-in-twenty-years-7e75481a798c
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For multiple days in 1770, a swath of sky over Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and the eastern coast of China looked as if it had been set ablaze, illuminated in a scorching red light. No one knew what caused it… till now scientists think it may have been a humongous solar flare exciting stunning aurorae… One more sign we should harden our electronic systems.
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This is truly monstrous. It is for his sons and other spoiled heirs who want to bring home trophies from their 'courageous' blasting or rare creatures at long range.

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Want a story that’s incredible, even by today’s standards? Julian Assange asking Donald Trump Jr.’s intervention to get him an ambassadorship? Oh, it gets better: “Hey Don. We have an unusual idea,” WikiLeaks wrote on October 21, 2016. “Leak us one or more of your father’s tax returns.” WikiLeaks then laid out three reasons why this would benefit both the Trumps and WikiLeaks. One, The New York Times had already published a fragment of Trump’s tax returns on October 1; two, the rest could come out any time “through the most biased source (e.g. NYT/MSNBC).”

“It is the third reason, though, WikiLeaks wrote, that “is the real kicker.” “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks explained. “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.” It then provided an email address and link where the Trump campaign could send the tax returns, and adds, “The same for any other negative stuff (documents, recordings) that you think has a decent chance of coming out. Let us put it out.”

Trump Jr. did not respond to this message. Though he had been very responsive to some earlier ones that now sound almost as ludicrous and conniving.

While you might expect me - as “Mr. Transparency” - to approve of Mr. Assange, and I have spoken well of some WikiLeaks spills, in the past, I have always made clear my distinction between theory and tactics, honest practice and egotistical rationalizing.

I have disagreements with Edward Snowden, for example. But he gives every appearance of being both thoughtful and sincere. And if he is sincere, with only the actions we have seen, to date, then he acted less against the United States than it what he perceived (a partially wrong indignation) to be its long-term best interests. Snowden has never denied that he merits punishment. Moreover, the general outcome from Snowden has been bracing, rather than badly damaging.

Assange is another matter. His relentless grudge-pursuing - plus his astonishing belief that his own machinations can and should remain secret - make him one of the prime rationalizers of our era. Sure, something like WikiLeaks had to happen, some of the spills have been helpful in spreading cleansing light . Above all, others - arguably more sane and judicious and effective than Wikileaks - have been following on with vastly more important revelations, like the Panama Papers and recent Paradise Papers.

Snowden lives in Moscow, yet no intel agency has called him a Putin tool. Assange has been so labeled repeatedly. Oh, and then there’s the (unverified) sexual assault thing. Whatever. Both Putin and Assange have Trump Family seals of approval. Choose your heroes.
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Midweek posting is about science fiction - like the 20th anniversary of the Postman flick, brought to life amid the Wine Country embers... and new thoughts on the Singularity... and hot new books and films! And Women kicking butt in sci fi since the sixties!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-postman-persists-and-delivers-plus.html
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The war on all fact professions - not just science - made utterly explicit. USE stuff like this. Go after your uncle. Your obstinate friend. Above all, your aunt who doesn't dare speak when "he" is around, but who has a vote.

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/14/563879136/house-gop-tax-plan-would-hit-grad-students-with-massive-tax-hike
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In a book entitled “America Against America,” based on his travels in the U.S., Wang Huning, a top Chinese communist party ideologist just elevated to the seven-member Standing Committee of the Politburo that rules the Middle Kingdom, “compares American democracy and elections to shareholders in a corporation. In theory, he observes, all shareholders have a say; in reality, minority shareholders control the company.”

https://tribunecontentagency.com/article/meet-the-mastermind-behind-xi-jinpings-power/

Following China’s Confucian tradition, [Wang] also calls for moral education to raise the moral standards of the whole society and especially of officials who he believes must ‘internalize’ ethical behavior.”
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In this video a former co-founder of the Evangelical Movement goes to town against the Dominists. It's around 9 minutes but well worth watching. Yes, it’s MSNBC going full Fox. (Too bad it’s come to this.) But toward the end he talks about “healthy redemption” vs loopy, hateful apocalypse grabbers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5YZNUBKVi8
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