justinpickard:

‘U.S. Promotes Network to Foil Digital Spying' (NYT) justinpickard:

‘U.S. Promotes Network to Foil Digital Spying' (NYT)
neuromaencer:

dying cows wander in the burning oil fields, al ahmadi oil fields, kuwait, 1991, by steve mccurry neuromaencer:

dying cows wander in the burning oil fields, al ahmadi oil fields, kuwait, 1991, by steve mccurry

neuromaencer:

dying cows wander in the burning oil fields, al ahmadi oil fields, kuwait, 1991, by steve mccurry

(via sink00)

"

"It [the inquiry] was long and complicated but we can now say that the young Chayson has never existed and nor have his father or mother."

The boy was reported missing on Friday by a woman who claimed to be the boy’s great-aunt. She told officers she had last seen the child the previous week near a supermarket and believed he had been kidnapped. She told detectives that Basinio and the boy’s mother had separated and she had no idea where they were.

"

stml:

Shipping Container X-Rays, from Google Images.

http://heartbleed.com/ http://heartbleed.com/

  An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.
  
  As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.


See more here, via
weburbanist 
  An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.
  
  As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.


See more here, via
weburbanist

An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.

As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.

See more here, via weburbanist

"

It is interesting how collapse theories mirror broader societal issues. During the Cold War, we had theories ascribing collapse to elite mismanagement, class conflict, and peasant revolts. As global warming became a public issue, scholars of the past began to discover that ancient societies collapsed due to climate change. As we have become concerned about sustainability and resource use today, we have learned that ancient societies collapsed due to depletion of critical resources, such as soil and forests. Now that inequality and “the 1%” are topics of public discourse, we have this paper focusing largely on elite resource consumption.

Models depend on the assumptions that go into them. Thus the first four pages of the paper are the part most worth discussing.

The paper has many flaws. The first is that “collapse” is not defined, and the examples given conflate different processes and outcomes. Thus the authors are not even clear what topic they are addressing.

Collapses have occurred among both hierarchical and non-hierarchical societies, and the authors even discuss the latter (although without understanding the implications for their thesis). Thus, although the authors purport to offer a universal model of collapse (involving elite consumption), their own discussion undercuts that argument.

Contrary to the authors’ unsubstantiated assertion, there is no evidence that elite consumption caused ancient societies to collapse. The authors simply have no empirical basis for this assumption, and that point alone undercuts most of the paper.

The authors assert that there is a “two-class structure of modern society,” and indeed their analysis depends on this being the case. The basis for this assertion comes from two papers published in obscure physics journals. That’s right, this assertion does not come from peer-review social science. It comes from journals that have no expertise in this topic, and whose audience is unqualified to evaluate the assertion critically.

In other words, there is no empirical or substantiated theoretical basis for this paper’s model.

In modeling, once one has established one’s assumptions and parameters, it is a simple matter to program the mathematics that will give the outcome one wants or expects. For this reason, models must be critically evaluated. Unfortunately, most readers are unable to evaluate a model’s assumptions. Instead, readers are impressed by equations and colored graphs, and assume thereby that a model mimics real processes and outcomes. That seems to be the case with this paper, and it represents the worst in modeling.

"
"Compared to being in broken Britain, living in a bog-standard average Western country may seem like an impossible, utopian fairy-land, to which only naïve children conned by lying politicians would aspire. But for most of the Western world, the sort of Scotland that the SNP talk about, that most yes campaigners say we can expect, isn’texceptional, it’s not even better than average. I am a radical. I hope we can achieve much more. But the “cloud cuckoo land” aspiration of the Scottish Government is to be an average, run of the mill, bog-standard European country. Compared to where we are now, that would be a great start."
"

Most people in the South East of England never seem to understand this. Blinded by the headlights and headlines of post imperial UK nationalism, the idea that “Britain is Great” pervades. We (I live in the South East at the moment) cling with white fisted knuckles to the notion that Britannia rules, unwilling to let go of our imperial past for fear that we might find we are just another European country. It’s a myth which works much more in England, and which helps explain differences in the tendancy to believe immigrant scapegoatingNorth and South of the border “if Britain is uniquely great” people infer “it can’t be the system that’s to blame, it must be outsiders”.

But the truth is that this is a very sick country indeed. We are investing a net figure of nothing in our future economy, and instead just about keep our head above water by flogging off our assets at a rate which would astonish almost any other country and re-inflating speculative bubbles which suck any wealth we do create into an unproductive black hole London housing market which eats wealth out of the rest of the country, hoovering any investment away from anything productive and then complaining when it’s asked to redistribute crumbs from its table.

A metropolis once at the centre of the biggest empire in human history and now at the centre of a global revolution of money-men over making things, of the wealthy over the rest is disguised by a blanket of post-imperial false confidence. Post-imperial Britain is a very strange, very damaged place. And before the people of these islands, the English in particular, can move on, and find a new place in the world, they need someone to finally point out that not only is this former emperor naked, not only does he no longer rule the waves, but his failure to grapple sensibly with either these facts has led to some pretty unhealthy habits. Telling a difficult truth is what friends are for. In part, that’s what Scotland’s referendum will be about.

"
"

Santosh Singh, a resident of Sangam Vihar and a worker at confectioner’s shop, was threatened with a gun the last time he talked about water availability in his locality. All he had done to get such a treatment was to seek his neighbour’s support to ask Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to provide a new tubewell for area.

The rogues from Delhi’s tanker mafia, which is paid a handsome amount by the residents for installing a borewell, sarcastically asked his wife whether Santosh had life insurance. He was unable to do anything to get water from DJB and his wife, till today, has to go and fetch water from private tankers amidst catcalls. At times, even glass shards are thrown at his doorstep by the mafia men. Of the Rs 6,000 that Santosh earns, he is forced to pay Rs 400 to the mafia for getting access to water extracted from ‘government’ borewells.

"
"For some time now, one of the most successful tactics of the ruling class has been responsibilisation. Each individual member of the subordinate class is encouraged into feeling that their poverty, lack of opportunities, or unemployment, is their fault and their fault alone. Individuals will blame themselves rather than social structures, which in any case they have been induced into believing do not really exist (they are just excuses, called upon by the weak). What [David] Smail calls ‘magical voluntarism’ – the belief that it is within every individual’s power to make themselves whatever they want to be – is the dominant ideology and unofficial religion of contemporary capitalist society, pushed by reality TV ‘experts’ and business gurus as much as by politicians. Magical voluntarism is both an effect and a cause of the currently historically low level of class consciousness. It is the flipside of depression – whose underlying conviction is that we are all uniquely responsible for our own misery and therefore deserve it. A particularly vicious double bind is imposed on the long-term unemployed in the UK now: a population that has all its life been sent the message that it is good for nothing is simultaneously told that it can do anything it wants to do."
Mark Fisher, Good For Nothing, Occupied Times (via varanine)