Technology

The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule – Quartz

In the same file, there’s also code that appears to instruct an astronaut to “crank the silly thing around.”

From: The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Technology

Carbon nanotubes too weak to get a space elevator off the ground – New Scientist

The team’s simulations show that the kink acts as a weak point in the tube, easily snapping the normally strong carbon-carbon bonds. Once this happens, the bonds in the adjacent hexagons also break, unzipping the entire tube. The effect on

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

A First Look at America’s Supergun – WSJ

  In conventional guns, a bullet begins losing acceleration moments after the gunpowder ignites. The railgun projectile gains more speed as it travels the length of a 32-foot barrel, exiting the muzzle at 4,500 miles an hour, or more than

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

Mind-blowing video of space junk evolution since 1957 – Business Insider

“The only way to [solve this problem] is to bring back the larger objects,” NASA scientist Donald Kessler, who has led NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office for nearly 20 years, told The Huffington Post in 2013. But if we’re going to do anything

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Sundown on Mars

Sundown on Mars

 

Posted in Photography, Science, Technology

the latest dream of reason

Without examining alternative views of the technical questions, which I believe will all eventually resolve to problems of the will, or to philosophical problems, or as Hegel put it rather pictorially, to fallacies of the brain as bone, we can note that the presumption of an artificially super-intelligent (an)nihilism, or of produced objective yet absolutely negative being, is nothing other than the projection of the scientist’s own self-nullity, or the inability of reason, as Hume patiently explained to us, if ever to be ignored by the most of us, to discover a reason for its own existence.

Posted in Anismism, Books, Internet, notes, Philosophy, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Ghost Machine

self(-)consumption

Posted in Art, Featured, Internet, Movies, Philosophy, Technology, TV Tagged with: , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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