Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘top secret

And Yet More Friday Still

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* UC Academic Senate responds to the MOOC bill. Open letter.

There is no possibility that UC faculty will shirk its responsibility to our students by ceding authority over courses to any outside agency.

”Education,” said Mr. Chambers. ”The next big killer application for the Internet is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail usage look like a rounding error” in terms of the Internet capacity it will consume.

What will drive it will be the demands on companies, in an intensely competitive global economy, to keep improving productivity. E-learning, insists Mr. Chambers, if done right, can provide faster learning, at lower costs, with more accountability, thereby enabling both companies and schools to keep up with changes in the global economy that now occur at Net speed. Schools and countries that ignore this, he says, will suffer the same fate as big department stores that thought e-commerce was overrated. Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, November 17, 1999.

* Exciting stuff from UC Riverside: The Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program is currently in the process of developing programs at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Google is about to learn a tough lesson.

A very common mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume that a feature is not necessary because it doesn’t have a lot of usage, thus it can be safely removed from the product. Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes, not so much.

Google made a big mistake cancelling Google Reader that will have severe ripple effects to its empire. I know a lot has been written about it, but let me give you a different angle on it.

They have absolutely no idea what they threw away. But they’re going to make you use Google+ to get it back.

* America in Decline: Young People Are Much Worse Off Than Their Parents Were At That Age.

* Disenfranchisement, 2000s style: 49% of Michigan’s African American Population Is Under an Emergency Manager.

* Military contractor accidentally invents something that will make the world a much better place.

* And Attackerman on the court decision ruling National Security Letters unconstitutional.

Even More Friday!

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* Another Buzzfeed list pings Marquette today: Are These The 32 Best College Campus Foods In America? Real Chili at #6.

The first Jesuit pope? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. George Weigel at NRO doesn’t care for the Jesuit order:

Bergoglio is an old-school Jesuit, formed by classic Ignatian spirituality and deeply committed to an intelligent, sophisticated appropriation and proclamation of the full symphony of Catholic truth — qualities not notable for their prevalence among members of the Society of Jesus in the early 21st century. I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.

A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror. More links below the dumb gif.

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* In Record-Setting ‘Match Day,’ 1,100 Medical Students Don’t Find Residencies. More from USA Today.

* Mathowie: Thoughts on Google Reader’s Demise. With reviews of possible alternatives.

* Profiles in courage: coming out in favor of marriage equality 2 years after your son comes out and 6 months after you know you won’t be VP. The truth of this, I suspect, is that he never really cared one way or the other, but now has no more reason to lie about it. What Rob Portman Learned.

People like Portman stridently work against other people’s interests until a crucial moment, both shaming and enlightening, when it becomes their interest too. It’s good that they ultimately come around on whatever the issue is — “Programs helping the poor are good because I lost all my money.” “My teenage daughter is pregnant and in no way prepared to have a baby.” — but does it erase the fact of their larger lack of compassion? I’m not sure it does.

See also Yglesias: Rob Portman and the Politics of Narcissism. Hero Sen. Rob Portman Courageously Endorses Equal Rights For His Family Members.

* Steubenville, Ohio, rape and India gang rape show India isn’t so ‘backward.’

Indian reaction to the New Delhi gang rape is in many ways more promising than American reactions to US rapes. Take the Steubenville, Ohio, case, which hasn’t generated the same public outrage as the case in India. Indian protesters’ calls for justice are a heartening sign of progress.

* North Dakota Poised To Enact Six-Week Abortion Ban, The Most Stringent Restriction In The Nation. Many women don’t even know they’re pregnant by six weeks. This is the sort of transparently unconstitutional law Republicans love to pass to raise money and nuture a sense of embattled outrage in their constituency. It’s written to be overturned.

* It never ends: Top 10 Senate races of 2014.

* Imagine there’s no deficit crisis.

* And Appeals Court Rejects CIA Secrecy on Drones.

“It is implausible that the CIA does not possess a single document on the subject of drone strikes.”

Wednesday Night

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* “Locked up in the bowels of the medical faculty building here and accessible to only a handful of scientists lies a man-made flu virus that could change world history if it were ever set free.” Via MeFi.

io9 has your alternate-universe Lincoln Memorial.

* Daniel Ellsberg on what it’s like to receive top-secret security clearance.

“First, you’ll be exhilarated by some of this new information, and by having it all — so much! incredible! — suddenly available to you. But second, almost as fast, you will feel like a fool for having studied, written, talked about these subjects, criticized and analyzed decisions made by presidents for years without having known of the existence of all this information, which presidents and others had and you didn’t, and which must have influenced their decisions in ways you couldn’t even guess. In particular, you’ll feel foolish for having literally rubbed shoulders for over a decade with some officials and consultants who did have access to all this information you didn’t know about and didn’t know they had, and you’ll be stunned that they kept that secret from you so well.

“You will feel like a fool, and that will last for about two weeks. Then, after you’ve started reading all this daily intelligence input and become used to using what amounts to whole libraries of hidden information, which is much more closely held than mere top secret data, you will forget there ever was a time when you didn’t have it, and you’ll be aware only of the fact that you have it now and most others don’t….and that all those other people are fools.

“Over a longer period of time — not too long, but a matter of two or three years — you’ll eventually become aware of the limitations of this information. There is a great deal that it doesn’t tell you, it’s often inaccurate, and it can lead you astray just as much as the New York Times can. But that takes a while to learn.

“In the meantime it will have become very hard for you to learn from anybody who doesn’t have these clearances. Because you’ll be thinking as you listen to them: ‘What would this man be telling me if he knew what I know? Would he be giving me the same advice, or would it totally change his predictions and recommendations?’ And that mental exercise is so torturous that after a while you give it up and just stop listening. I’ve seen this with my superiors, my colleagues….and with myself.

“You will deal with a person who doesn’t have those clearances only from the point of view of what you want him to believe and what impression you want him to go away with, since you’ll have to lie carefully to him about what you know. In effect, you will have to manipulate him. You’ll give up trying to assess what he has to say. The danger is, you’ll become something like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they may have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours.”

* More on Romnarok from Ezra Klein.

* And Mayor Bloomberg says the NYPD is his “own private army.” I think one of us probably ought to go back to 8th grade civics class. But which one?

What Year Was the Government First Prohibited from Denying Security Clearances on the Basis of Sexual Orientation?

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1995. I can’t believe it was that recent; it’s amazing how much progress has been made on gay rights in so short a time.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Monday Politics Wrap-up

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Monday politics wrap-up.

* Condoleezza Rice seems to be having a little trouble deciding whether she wants to come back from the Dark Side or else keep up the good work.

* Classic gaffe for John McCain: he’s accidentally leaked the U.S. government’s knowledge of the top-secret Iraq-Pakistan border.

* He’s also having trouble getting published in the New York Times. Don’t feel bad, John, they won’t publish my op-eds either.

* Novakula says we’ll have the Republican VP by the end of the week. That screams Romney to me—the sooner he’s tapped the sooner they can start spending his money, which (because McCain accepted public money) they can’t spend after the RNC convention.

* Bush hits 21% approval, with 72% disapproval. Still a bit high.

* My Official George W. Bush “Days Left in Office” Countdown Count shows only 182 days left in our long national nightmare, but a Cheney-linked think-tank has proposed that Bush declare himself president-for-life.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.

Ball’s in your court, Mr. President.

* And Ben Smith has your day in photographs. Obama’s had a good week so far.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 22, 2008 at 2:00 am