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Agam Brahma
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A very watchable discussion, starring Fareed Zakaria, Husain Haqqani, Nisid Hajari

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Look, I eat everything, but please, read this, and leave the Octopus alone; it's smarter than you think ...

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A new Adam Curtis documentary .....

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WTF

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"Balint: Well that's the thing though, I didn't want to leave and so, unfortunately I didn't have any cell reception so I couldn't tether to my phone, you don't get on the WiFi at DEFCON obviously because then you open yourself up to being hacked. So there's a guy next to me that I started to talk to and we're talking about software defined radio and I sort of sized him up, he was from Norway and he seemed like a good bloke and I asked whether I could tether to his phone. He said yes because he had a prepaid account with some Internet credit on there. And so I ended up tethering to his phone, SSH-ing from the third row of DEFCON into the laptop at Arecibo to send commands to the space probe that was about to fly past the moon, to reboot the science instrument on board, and then I could continue watching the presentation, so it was quite fun."

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"Meanwhile, most of Goldberg’s comics seem dated: the jokes don’t make sense or are lame, and cultural references fall flat. But some feel as relevant ever, and maybe that’s because the technical absurdities that the cartoonist parodied are still very real. Our modern era is riddled with machines doing ever less consequential tasks in ever more complex ways. The machines are digital, not mechanical, but the difference between the maximalism of the Rube Goldberg machine and the minimalism of the iPhone is perhaps not so great after all."

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"So it seems likely to me that after the early, rapid decline, we are now in a period of shallow, secular decay, which will give way to a late-stage period of rapid decline. You can see something like this has happened already in your delivery business, when you read the comments on your piece. Several commenters would like a print copy, but don’t live in an area where it’s cost-effective to deliver the paper. This happened to my mother, in western Virginia; she is now digital-only because after years of gradual decay, the Roanoke, Va., market simply crossed a threshold where it became unprofitable, and all the remaining print subscribers disappeared all at once.

Those dynamics, in miniature, characterize print as a whole — below some threshold, the decay stops being incremental and starts being systemic."

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"Let's call it what it is: Social media marketing is now advertising. It's largely a media planning and buying exercise -- emphasizing viewed impressions. Brands must pay if they really want their message to be seen. It's the opposite of connecting or listening -- it's once again broadcasting."

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"Such obscurantist thinking, no longer confined to a few elderly Hindu gentlemen, finds expression in the speeches of Narendra Modi himself, even while he strives to appear as a modernising, business-friendly, 21st-century Prime Minister. Opening a new hospital, he asserted in all seriousness that the elephant-headed god Ganesh was an example of ancient Indian skill at plastic surgery, and that the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, contains evidence of stem-cell research and IVF pregnancies. A BJP supporter recently regaled the Indian Science Congress with equally absurd claims that Rama flying about on a divine eagle in the Ramayana was evidence of ancient Hindus using sophisticated spacecraft."
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