Mostly depressing sentences   17 August 2014

I’m breaking my own rules this week and posting more than a sentence from each link.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Journalists from the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera were attacked by state security forces today, and blanketed in tear gas as they attempted to film an ongoing protest; this is the latest in a string of attacks on journalists by security forces. http://www.vox.com/2014/8/13/6001193/al-jazeera-journalists-teargassed-by-security-forces-in-ferguson

But it’s not a mystery how we got here:

We’ve spent the past two decades militarizing our police forces to respond to problems that never materialized, and now we’re stuck with them. We don’t need commando teams and SWAT units in every town in America to deal with either terrorism or an epidemic of crime, so they get used for other things instead. And that’s how we end up with debacles like Ferguson http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/we-created-policing-monster-mistake

In 2010 New Haven, Connecticut sent a SWAT team to a bar suspected of serving under-age drinkers. That same year heavily-armed police raided barber shops around Orlando, Florida; they said they were hunting for guns and drugs but ended up arresting 34 people for “barbering without a licence”. Maricopa County, Arizona sent a SWAT team into the living room of Jesus Llovera, who was suspected of organising cockfights. Police rolled a tank into Mr Llovera’s yard and killed more than 100 of his birds, as well as his dog. According to Mr Kraska, most SWAT deployments are not in response to violent, life-threatening crimes, but to serve drug-related warrants in private homes. http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21599349-americas-police-have-become-too-militarised-cops-or-soldiers

Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement. Rand Paul — http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police/

There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state. The other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people. Commander Adama — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv9S93yTgGc

The future of work

So I have a message for my fellow plutocrats and zillionaires and for anyone who lives in a gated bubble world: Wake up. Wake up. It cannot last. Because if we do not do something to fix the glaring economic inequities in our society, the pitchforks will come for us, for no free and open society can long sustain this kind of rising economic inequality. It has never happened. There are no examples. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state or an uprising. The pitchforks will come for us if we do not address this. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Nick Hanauer http://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming

Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that do that pays for its housing and hay. C. P. G. Grey — http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/humans-need-not-apply

I think Hanauer is correct but, his solution won’t solve the longer term problem which Grey presents very clearly: automation will remove the need for the majority of human labor. I believe the solution is some sort of a guaranteed minimum income that isn’t tied to a job.

Dealing with change

Often at the start of a massive trend shift in consumer electronics, dominant dinosaurs get one massive hit built on a nearly obsolete paradigm, and that allows them to be lulled into a comfy trip to the grave. http://bgr.com/2014/07/30/nintendo-3ds-doomed-wii-u/

It was easier for them to let it go than to call out a friend, and their behavior said it was all right to treat me like that. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/science/harassment-in-science-replicated.html


Láadan, a feminist language developed in the early nineteen-eighties, includes words like radíidin, defined as a “non-holiday, a time allegedly a holiday but actually so much a burden because of work and preparations that it is a dreaded occasion; especially when there are too many guests and none of them help.” http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/12/24/utopian-for-beginners

I pity your attempts to justify your insecurity with analysis. It is false analysis with no substance. http://aliendovecote.com/uploads/twine/kesha.html

Amazing algorithms

We present a method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyper-lapse videos, i.e., time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hyperlapse/

Finally we propose a high-level image editing method which allows a user to adjust the attributes of a scene, e.g. change a scene to be “snowy” or “sunset”. http://transattr.cs.brown.edu/

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