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Sell your data to save the economy and your future

Two for tea: These friendly, labour-saving robots might look harmless – but automation is replacing traditional jobs

Imagine our world later in this century, when machines have got better.

Cars and trucks drive themselves, and there’s hardly ever an accident. Robots root through the earth for raw materials, and miners are never trapped. Robotic surgeons rarely make errors.

Clothes are always brand new designs that day, and always fit perfectly, because your home fabricator makes them out of recycled clothes from the previous day. There is no laundry.

I can’t tell you which of these technologies will start to work in this century for sure, and which will be derailed by glitches, but at least some of these things will come about.

On call: At the moment, humans operate surgical robots – what happens to the humans when they can operate themselves?

Who will earn wealth? If robotic surgeons get really good, will tomorrow’s surgeons be in the same boat as today’s musicians?

Will they live gig to gig, with a token few of them winning a YouTube hit or Kickstarter success while most still have to live with their parents?

This question has to be asked. Something seems terribly askew about how technology is benefitting the world lately.

How could it be that since the incredible efficiencies of digital networking have finally reached vast numbers of people that we aren’t seeing a broad benefit?

Jaron Lanier believes that the digital revolution as it stands could be the death knell of the middle classes

How could it be that so far the network age seems to be a time of endless austerity, jobless recoveries, loss of social mobility, and intense wealth concentration in markets that are anaemic overall?

The medicine of our time is purported to be open information. The medicine comes in many bottles: open software, free online education, European pirate parties, Wikileaks, social media, and endless variations of the above.

The principle of making information free seems, at first glance, to spread the power of information out of elite bubbles to benefit everyone.

Unfortunately, although no one realised it beforehand, the medicine turns out to be poison.

Digitally unequal

While people are created equal, computers are not.

When people share information freely, those who own the best computers benefit in extreme ways that are denied to everyone else.

Those with the best computers can simply calculate wealth and power away from ordinary people.

It doesn’t matter if the best computers run schemes called high frequency trading firms, social media sites, national intelligence agencies, giant online stores, big political campaigns, insurance companies, or search engines.

Leave the semantics aside and they’re all remarkably similar.

All the computers that crunch “big data” are physically similar. They are placed in obscure sites and are guarded like oilfields.

The programs that the best computers are running are also similar. First comes the gathering of freely offered information from everyone else in the world.

This might include scanned emails or social media sharing, sightings through cloud-connected cameras, or commercial and medical dossiers; there’s no boundary to the snooping.

In order to lure people into asymmetrical information relationships, some treat is often dangled.

Information is power: One of Facebook’s data centres in North Carolina – your data is held somewhere like this

The treat might be free internet services or music, or insanely easy-to-get mortgages. The targeted audience eventually pays for these treats through lost opportunities.

Career options will eventually narrow, or credit will become insanely tight.

Ordinary people, or more precisely people with only ordinary computers, are the sole providers of the information that makes the big computers so powerful and valuable.

And ordinary people do get a certain flavour of benefit for providing that value.

They get the benefits of an informal economy usually associated with the developing world, like reputation and access to barter. The formal benefits concentrate around the biggest computers.

More and more ordinary people are thrust into a winner-takes-all economy. Social media sharers can make all the noise they want, but they forfeit the real wealth and clout needed to be politically powerful.

Do no evil

In most cases there was no evil plot. Many of the people who own the top computers are genuinely nice.

I helped create the system, and benefit from it. But nonetheless, it is not sustainable.

The core problem starts with philosophy. The owners of the biggest computers like to think about them as big artificial brains. But actually they are simply repackaging valuable information gathered from everyone else.

This is what “big data” means.

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6am Tuesday – It was never meant to be

Bashar al-Bastard knows that he is immune. He knows that he is protected by Russia and China. He will continue as long as he has their protection.

Photo - BBC News

Kofi Annan’s peace plan was just breathing space. Once again he has played the world for fools.

6am Tuesday was the deadline, and… nothing. Reports continue to say the “Assad thugs”* are escalating their violence and that fighting in the capital has doubled.

Monday, the day before the ceasefire, has been considered the worst day yet with more than 100 reported dead.

The extra demands by al-Bastard on Sunday were merely a way to sidestep the ceasefire.

Even the Russians are having doubts… “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Syrian government “could have been more active and decisive” in implementing the plan, but that Mr Muallem had assured him Damascus was committed to it.” – BBC News & Here

Syrian assurances mean NOTHING!

“France’s foreign ministry described Mr Muallem’s comments as “a fresh expression of this blatant and unacceptable lie” that Damascus was committed to the Annan plan and urged the international community to react against the “feeling of impunity”.” – BBC News

And the world continues to allow al-Bastard get away with murder. What will it take, another 10,000 Syrians dead before the world realises that al-Bastard is full of shit!

Read on BBC News what the international press are saying.

*One Damascus resident told the BBC that violence in the capital had doubled and that one protest was attacked by “Assad thugs”. – BBC News

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Finally, the Truth

So, it’s not all a bed of roses.

Sarkozy simply says what the rest of the world already knew. What was surprising was Obama’s implicit agreement with the statement.

Maybe there are changes afoot. Any disruption of the US – Israeli relation can only be good, not only for the Palestinians, but the American people… the bankers, however, may view it differently.

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Sorry, WordPress has not permitted posting the last 24+ hours, however, back again.

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Cavemen didn’t have Politicians nor Money

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder


I have been off the air for a few days, check the story on Life is But a Labyrinth


Posting will resume, uhm… tomorrow.


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Global governments ‘must get tough on obesity’

Tougher action – including taxing junk food – is needed by all governments if the obesity crisis is going to be tackled, experts say.

The international group of researchers, who have published a series of articles in The Lancet, said no country had yet got to grips with the problem.

They said changes in society meant it was getting harder for people to live healthy lives.

And they warned without state action, health systems could become swamped.

Source: BBCNews Read more


I would go so far as to say that junk food needs to be taxed off the market and taxes removed from foods considered healthy.

There needs to be further investigation into the ‘white liquid’ they sell as milk and the chemical cocktail fruit juices amongst many other evils of the food industry.


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Dangerous Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance and Secrecy Worldwide

As part of an emerging international trend to try to ‘civilize the Internet’, one of the world’s worst Internet law treaties–the highly controversial Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on Cybercrime–is back on the agenda. Canada and Australia are using the Treaty to introduce new invasive, online surveillance laws, many of which go far beyond the Convention’s intended levels of intrusiveness. Negotiated over a decade ago, only 31 of its 47 signatories have ratified it. Many considered the Treaty to be dormant but in recent years a number of countries have been modeling national laws based on the flawed Treaty. Moreover, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom are amongst those who have ratified within the last year. However, among non-European countries, only the U.S. has ratified the Treaty to date, making Canada and Australia’s efforts unique. The Treaty has not been harmless, and both Australia and Canada are fast-tracking legislation (Australia’s lower house approved a cybercrime bill last night) that will enable them to ratify the Treaty, at great cost to the civil liberties of their citizens.

Leaving out constitutional safeguards…


Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation Read more

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Last Posts from Life is a Labyrinth

:: Muammar Gaddafi

“Speaking on a local Tripoli radio station on Wednesday, Col Gaddafi pledged “martyrdom or victory” in the fight against Nato and the Libyan rebels…”

Quote from BBC News Read more


That’s a laugh, he won’t get either. Certainly not victory, and to be considered a martyr one must be fighting for a cause, not some megalomaniac desire for self aggrandisement.

:: Reaping what we Sow

Growing numbers of naughty new entrants being stood down from school for bad behaviour are often undiagnosed with special conditions like ADHD, foetal alcohol syndrome, autism or Asperger’s syndrome, Auckland child educational psychologist Fiona Ayers says.

Ms Ayers, in Queenstown for the New Zealand Psychological Society conference, said children with such conditions were quite hard to parent and often weren’t diagnosed until they were stood down for being disruptive at school.


It appears that we are beginning to reap what we have sown. This report from slams a damning indictment on family values.

The world is becoming a sadder and sorrier state of affairs.

:: Psychopaths and Big Money – It All Adds Up

by Phil Taylor

“Psychopaths prefer commerce degrees – that’s the finding of a world-first study examining university students’ personalities and course preferences. Victoria University students with higher scores for psychopathy traits tended to opt to study commerce, with law next most popular. The study of 903 undergraduates found that significantly fewer with high psychopathy scores chose science and fewer still went for arts….

Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly Read more

:: How the Federal Reserve Fixed America

The reality since Ben Bernanke announced his QE2 policy in August 2010 is:

* Unleaded gas prices are up 45%.
* Heating oil prices are up 46%.
* Corn prices are up 71%.
* Soybean prices are up 26%.
* Rice prices are up 13%.
* Pork prices are up 31%.
* Beef prices are up 25%.
* Coffee prices are up 38%.
* Sugar prices are up 48%.
* Cotton prices are up 13%.
* Gold prices are up 42%.
* Silver prices are up 115%.
* Copper prices are up 23%.

Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly Read the whole sad story

:: Indigenous Bolivians march against Amazon road

Hundreds of Amazonian Indians in Bolivia have begun a long march in protest at the construction of a road through a pristine rainforest reserve.

Activists say the road will encourage illegal settlement and deforestation.
Isiboro-Secure National Park is home to several isolated tribes.

The protest is an embarrassment for President Evo Morales, who is a prominent advocate of indigenous rights and the protection of “Mother Earth”.

Source: BBC News Read more

:: The Black Swan Is On The Wing

by Karl Denninger
“Without comment… none is necessary…”
Les Visible from “His Reflections in a Petri Dish Blog,”
“The Black Swan Is On The Wing”

Source: Running ‘Cause I can’t Fly

:: It’s About Time

Yes, it is high time for the world and Americans to show that they will not be subjugated by the ‘fears’ of terrorism promoted by the US government.

Photo BBC News

This TSA bullshit has gone on long enough.

Daily horror stories of gropings and indecent assaults in the name of the ‘war against terrorism are now the norm. How long are travelers going to tolerate this?

Read this story on BBC News

Then think about this…

All air traveler’s traveling into, out of and within the USA should think again about air travel.

Tourists and domestic air travelers should boycott airports and air travel totally.

If the Americans want to defeat al -Qaeda, the Taliban or what ever ghost is haunting them, the only way is for the Americans to get out of the middle east where they don’t belong. All this terrorism started when the Americans began meddling in middle eastern affairs and invasions.

:: Sunday Quote

“It seems to me, if you’ve got 400 gangs, then you’re not being very effective.”

Sir Hugh Orde,
president of the Association of Chief Police Officers

– Said in response to the suggestion that an American adviser from an area with 400 gangs be able to advise the British police on violence.

Source: BBC News Read more

:: Saturday Satire

You read about all these Terrorists most of them came here legally, but they hung around on these expired visas, some for as long as 10-15 years. Now, compare that to Blockbuster; you are two days late with a video and those people are all over you. I think we should put Blockbuster in charge of Immigration & Homeland Security.

:: Another Perspective

“Another perspective on our national financial situation…. If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year & have $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.”
– Dave Ramsey.

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