Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Linkee-poo, we dip and dive a drunken jive, falling as a pair

Posted here in case I need it, the June 21 Writers Almanac with the poem Still, I Give Thanks by Marie Reynolds. Fuck cancer. "Large-scale brain-like machines with human-like abilities to solve problems could become a reality, now that researchers have invented microscopic gadgets that mimic the connections between neurons in the human brain better than any previous devices." Hype hype hype, blather, blather, blather. It's still a 0 or 1 transaction (not in reality, but in processing). Okay, look, the synapse is the space between the neuron's axion and the next neuron's dendrite. The neuron itself has many dendrites and a few axions. And because of the chemical signals that transfers across the synapse the neuron knows where to route the signal and at what strength to route that signal. And then you have to deal with the fact that we still don't have a good grip on where sentience comes from. Is it a hardwired part of the brain, or an emergent property of the brain? We're learning more and more of how the brain distributes its work load, but we still don't understand how those nodes are constructed and why they work they way they do (this is what President Obama's brain mapping initiative hopes to find out. But it's still a question when we understand the physical makeup of the brain will we understand how it truly works. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"'If people are going to be eating burgers in 50 years, they're not going to be made from cows,' said (Stanford biochemist and Impossible Foods' founder and CEO Patrick) Brown. 'We're saving the burger.'" Soylent brown? The "fake" meat products continue to advance. I've tried some of Beyond Meat's products and they're not bad, but their also not really a substitute yet. But while this industry isn't exactly new (Boca burger for example was started in 1979) it still hasn't matured ("artificial" meat is still more expensive than "real" meat). And while Beyond Meat didn't sway me to switch, it was close enough for me to give it and their competitors another try as they improve.

"'If you were unfortunate enough to be an oxygen ion in the upper atmosphere of Venus then you have won a terrible, terrible lottery,' said Collinson, 'You and all your ion friends will be dragged off kicking and screaming into space by an invisible hand, and nothing can save you.'" An "electric wind" has stripped Venus of it's water. (Grokked from Warren Ellis)

Just a reminder, your work computer belongs to your job and anything you type or use it for may be monitored by IT or HR and/or requested by law enforcement.

"With southeast Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy behind bars as he and his four sons await trial, the Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it plans to resume work in the Gold Butte region for the first time since an armed standoff near Bundy's Bunkerville ranch in spring 2014." And it looks like they've got a lot of work a head of them.

Teaching the next generation of Ob-Gyn doctors about abortion in Texas. While the Pro-Lifers will think this is great, no matter which side you're on there are times when it is absolutely necessary to induce an abortion to save the life of the mother (such as when a miscarriage goes wrong). Doctors need to know how to save lives. This isn't a case of, "well, if we close all the abortion clinics our doctors don't need to know how to perform abortions."

Party before country. They GOP is going to have a hard time explaining their support of the Trumpster as anything else.

Why is it when oil prices are low oil industry insiders always talk about closing our strategic petroleum reserves. Dear US Government, buy low, sell high. Also, while there is a lot of untapped oil in our country (thanks to fraking), it's not easily recoverable and in this slow down those oil rigs we would need are rotting out on the prairie. I also suspect that the same thing will happen this year as has happened in past years when our domestic oil industry has slowed, those rigs will be sold off and moved out of the country, we'll lose our domestic steel tube industries, and the number of people qualified to actually work on the rigs will plummet. Which means the next time oil prices rise dramatically it'll take another decade before we can successfully tap our domestic production capability.

"A week after Orlando was rocked by the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a Florida state senator and congressional candidate launched a contest to award a constituent with a AR-15 semiautomatic rifle." Guess which party. Aw, it's no fun if you don't guess. This is what's known as the Part of "I Don't Give a Damn." And of course he has an NRA rating of A+. Good job, Evers.

Not sure if I said it on the blog or in a tweet last week on how the NRA was being reasonable in the wake of Orlando when it came to gun control and if that would translate to them not lobbying to scuttle any legislation down the time line. Welp, here's the answer. Of course they're going to try and sink any legislation. You can sell more guns (and that's the business the NRA is in, making sure gun manufacturers can sell all the guns they can). (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"This is it. This week House Republicans will unveil their plan to replace Obamacare… Except by 'plan' they mean be a 'broad outline,' and by 'replace' they mean without giving any specific dollar amounts that would show how far they'd go to guarantee that Americans don't lose coverage, according to a report last week in The Hill." Won't get fooled again.

"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that courts need not suppress evidence of a crime, even if it was obtained through an illegal stop." Fuckstockings. Sure, there are those who say, "Well, they were criminal, so alls well that ends well," except what this does is gives police a license to stop anyone at anytime and then check to see if there's an outstanding warrant and if they're able to find evidence of another crime while they've stopped that person, that evidence can also be admissible in court. This over turns a lot of existing law that states if the police obtain evidence in an illegal manner that it cannot be used in a court (because it's only a few steps from illegal procedures to simply planting evidence to justify an arrest). While the ruling is specifically for one case, the president it sets is one of the building blocks of a police state. And if you think this will only be used against "those people", you really don't know how the police operate.

"In a new ad to be aired on television this week, Florida businessman and GOP Senate candidate Carlos Beruff says he's tired of 'hyphenated Americans.'" After, you know, touting his Cuban-American heritage. Because in Florida being Cuban-American can't hurt. So, anybody else getting the vibe that Race in 2016 will be what Rape was in 2012?

"Donald J. Trump has fired his divisive campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a move that comes as the presumptive Republican nominee faces challenges as he heads into the general election." Munches popcorn waiting for the Dunning-Kruger fireworks. Not that I think he was a good guy, but all accounts he's an ass. Although to be fair to the Trumpster, it's not at all uncommon for a major shakeup in the candidate's organization just before the convention.

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