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Showing posts from March 14, 2016

Game ON: the end of the old economic system is in sight

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[An interesting take on Google's AlphaGo. It might not be all fun and games: "PPS: This has huge implications for warfare."
*RON*]
By John RobbGlobal Guerrillas, 12 March 2016
Google is a pioneer in limited artificial general intelligence (aka computers that can learn w/o preprogramming them). One successful example is AlphaGo. It just beat this Go Grandmaster three times in a row. 


The macabre truth of gun control in the US is that toddlers kill more people than terrorists do

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[Last week, Jamie Gilt, a Florida gun rights activist, who has built a thriving web presence on the argument that guns are perfectly safe around kids, was shot in the back by her four-year-old son. How much longer will we keep participating in the collective lie that deadly weapons keep us safe? See also: How the NRA Is 'Making A Killing' Off Women's Lives. *RON*]
Lindy West, The Guardian, 13 March 2016

This week, in my country, considered by some of its more embarrassing denizens to be the “greatest country in the world”, an outspoken Florida “gun rights” advocate left a loaded .45 calibre handgun in the back seat of her car and was promptly shot and wounded by her four-year-old child. Truly a pinnacle of human potential, much like the invention of paper in second-century BC China, or Aristotle holding forth in the Lyceum, or whoever first pointed out that Florida looks like America’s penis.

What do you say about the outspoken Florida…

South Sudan Faces One of World's Most 'Horrendous' Human Rights Situations: U.N. Rights Chief

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[One assumes the reasons are political and strategic, but the horrors in Sudan are being completely ignored in the West. It's not like it's being under-reported in the news. See also: South Sudan: Government forces deliberately suffocated dozens and dumped bodies in open pitsThe Killing FieldSouth Sudan is dying, and nobody is countingSouth Sudan: Women raped 'as reward for fighters', The Secret War Crime. For some thoughts that help explain Sudan's political invisibility in the West, see Africa, China, the United States, and Oil. *RON*]

By Associated Press, NBC News, 11 March 2016
GENEVA — A U.N. report describing sweeping crimes like children being burned alive and fighters raping women as payment shows South Sudan is facing "one of the most horrendous" human rights situations in the world," the United Nations rights chief said Friday.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein lamented that the crisis in the world's newes…

This chart shows the 5 worst countries in the world for house prices versus income

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[Based on data from Knight Frank, Canada's housing prices, relative to income, are third worst in the world. *RON*]

Lianna Brinded, Business Insider, 9 March 2016

Property prices across all the major cities in the world are rising, and it's getting less easy to afford a place to live.

In London, for example, the average is cost to buy a home in London hit £536,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But at the same time, wage growth is stagnating and comes in around £30,000 mark for Britain's capital. This means the amount of debt the average buyer takes on is huge and the gap between house prices and incomes is widening.

But according to luxury estate agent Knight Frank's latest Global House Price Index, the UK isn't even in the top five countries for the worst house price affordability ratio — these countries are:

Traveling in the North Country

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[I couldn't help but pass along this one I received from my friend Harry - an real eye-popper on life in North Korea. "Greg Larson travels to North Korea and attempts to find reality in a country built on illusion." See also: In Hail of Bullets and Fire, North Korea Killed Official Who Wanted Reform. *RON*]

By Greg Larson, Lucky Peach, 13 March 2016
This story comes from Lucky Peach #7: The Travel Issue. For more great stuff like this, subscribe to the magazine!

I skipped the in-flight meal on Air Koryo—the only North Korean airline, which consists mostly of a small fleet of planes bought at discount from Russia in the late 1980s, decorated with yellow wallpaper and silk doilies on the headrests. When the flight attendant produced from her cart a gray, mushy soup in a Styrofoam bowl, I smiled and said No, kamsahamnida. I figured I’d eat when we landed.

Sanders Accepts Challenge to Kill TPP If Elected... Nothing from Clinton So Far

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[This is a real litmus test for Hillary in her pretense of being a progressive. "Secretary Clinton has said she opposes the job-killing TPP, but if she's serious about her opposition she'll make clear right now that she'll fight any effort to pass the current agreement during a lame duck session of Congress and, if elected, will reject any attempt to call slight tweaks to this fundamentally flawed trade agreement an improvement." —Neil Sroka, Democracy or America. *RON*]

by Jon QueallyCommon Dreams, 12 March 2016

Accepting a challenge and passing it on ahead of primary voting in Ohio and elsewhere on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed that if elected president he would refuse to present the contoversial TransPacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to Congress and asked his rival Hillary Clinton to join him in that pledge.

As he spoke about trade policy and other key issues to a packed indoor stadium in Toledo on Friday night, S…