August 22nd – International News Round-Up (Part II)

Ecuador

Ecuador Times

A public prosecutor has found evidence of criminal liability against VP Jorge Glas. However, he cannot be prosecuted without authorization from the legislature.

Society

Vox

Report hung out with Witches during the solar eclipse.

Salem Witch Trials (Image Source: WIki Commons)
Salem Witch Trials (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Philosophy

Philosophical Disquisitions

An argument on the nature of the Private-Public argument when it comes to services rendered.

“They argue that every privatisation agreement will have to afford the private agent a ‘zone of permissibility’ (or ‘autonomy’) in which they are free to exercise their own judgment about what to do. This zone of permissibility will necessarily remove them from the kind of public deference that is required. The reason for this is that in order to make any sense at all, a privatisation agreement must defer to the skills and judgment of the private agent. Recall, that the whole point of privatisation is that private agents are able to provide a good or service more efficiently than public agents.”

Public Policy

A Dragons Best Friend

A Cambridge citizen on the changing nature of his city and what on earth to do for kicks.

Security

Breitbart News

There’s two sides to the conservative in the United States coin. One wants more troops pumped into Afghanistan, and the other wants nothing to do with foreign wars anymore. Even the ones who want troops in Afghanistan, want them to be private soldiers and not American military. It seems like private security contractors don’t really know how to feel at the moment. America has to win the war. America does not lose. But nobody has the political capital to send more troops into Afghanistan, even with the resurgent Taliban.

August 22nd – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

Chad’s PM has arrived in Khartoum and will hold talks for three days on the matters of political and security co-operation. The two countries signed a deal in 2010 that normalized relations between them.

Biology

Motherboard

Clever article on how antlion larvae prey on ants and why this results in smaller ants getting devoured. As an interesting thought experiment, does this mean that, eventually, the size of the average ant will get larger and larger and that they will stop falling prey to the antlion pincers and that the antlion will die out? So, a hunting mechanism of an organism could create a vicious cycle of selection in a species that is linked to it and that which could eventually result in its own extinction?

Virtual Reality

Motherboard

Straw Labs is testing how animals perceive their environments using virtual reality systems. Andrew Straw also thanked gamers for having created the demand that has allowed the technology that has helped in the creation of this system, to have been created.

Physics

Motherboard

The physics of diamond rain on some planets and what this implies for the synthesis of elements.

Gun Violence

Vice

Trace, a non-profit did a study on gun control laws. Apparently, the threat of social disorder trumps how people feel about gun control law.

2nd Amendment Rights (Image Source: Flickr)
2nd Amendment Rights (Image Source: Flickr)

Academia

Org Theory

Bog post on the experiences of a graduate student at Chicago.

America

Vice

The person in this article makes a point that I also read somewhere yesterday (I can’t remember where). The Unite the Right rally didn’t help the right wing, or anybody who supports trump. Moderate conservatives who might have wanted to be a part of or in fact were a part of the Unite the Right Valley are now seen as being complicit in what happened. Before, if you were a conservative, you could have made arguments for the fact that the right has shades, just like the left. Instead, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make that argument.

Bitcoin

Motherboard

Bitcoin isn’t regulated by officials. That’s a good thing.

Turns out, it’s also a bad thing.

Security

Vice

The United States Navy had a collision. Article on the state of the US Navy and the nature of miscommunication in the armed forces.

Gender

The Daily Dot

Pao, who sued members of Silicon Valley has a book coming out.

Right Wing

Right Wing Watch

Ayyadurai has been heavily endorsed by the Right Wing in the United States. He also lays claim to being the “real Indian”. To me, this is also proof that the Right Wing might not be completely about ethnicity and race, and might be more of a shared vision of order and structure. It’s okay if you’re brown, as long as you don’t think brown.

August 12th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

Guam

Daily Dot

The Government of Guam has issued a 2-page document that details what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

Kenya

Sputnik

The incumbent Kenyatta won the presidential elections in. His main rival claims the vote was rigged. There were stand-offs between government loyalists and opposition supporters. The last time this happened (2007), thousands died.

North Korean Conflict

Zero Hedge

Breitbart

We’re going to have to wait and see if even the hardline trumpists like Zero Hedge will get behind this administration opening a two-front war. From what I read, they thought the interventionism of Obama and Clinton was the worst thing to happen. They were firm isolationists, for the most part. Though I don’t think anybody really believes that anybody in the White House actually thinks this is an option that could be explored.

Society

Zero Hedge

The guy who wrote the diversity memo and got fired wrote an op-ed for WSJ. You can’t read the complete thing because you need an account, but the link above has a part of the article.

Immigration

Quillette

Argument against open borders. Author claim that this is not against immigration in general, but says that cases for open borders must be more nuanced. That’s a statement that I agree with in general, though the author does make one absurd claim: that tribalism is so robust because small groups are better at achieving certain results which lead to prosperity. This is ridiculous. Tribalism is a feature of politics which sees ethnic classes banding together. It’s not particularly self-aware or reflexive. In other word, tribalism justifies itself on the basis of ethnicity, not on the basis of efficacy.

Society

The Cut

Article on the politics of “blondeness.”

Legally Blonde - The Musical (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Legally Blonde – The Musical (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

August 12th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Religion

Jim Bakker Show via Right Wing Watch

Panel of Christians with shelves stacked with food behind them. The table that they are seated at has a lot of food on it too. This is really the first time I’ve actually sat down and watched an entire one of these shows, I usually just watch the snippets that Right Wing Watch puts out. You’re going to watch the entire thing yourself, but there are a few things that should be pointed out. He encourages people to buy food from his store, and stores that are his partners. The reason for this is that apparently all of their food has an extended shelf life, which means it’s all powdered and desiccated.

I checked out their online store, and they have powdered fruit.

The reason that this is a good thing, is because, according to Jim, Churches need to stock up for when Jesus comes back to lead his army, and that people (all non-believers), will flock to churches, because that would be the only source of food. They would all have food sourced from the Jim Bakker show.

Fascinating. It’s always really interesting to see the different forms that monetized religion can take.

Klontzas Georgios - The Second Coming (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Klontzas Georgios – The Second Coming (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Society

Washington Post

Shifting demographics and the state of the American dream.

“Cultural shifts are also underway. In surveys, Millennials often say they want to own homes one day, but they are a generation that’s embraced the “sharing economy.” They don’t like to own much. They take Lyft and Uber instead of owning a car. They tell their parents and grandparents “no thanks” when they are offered the family china or trinkets. They prefer to spend their money on experiences — eating out, concerts, travel, gyms — instead of stuff.”

Philosophy

Edward Feser

Feser on the mindscape as being a realm from which all ideas come from. They precede us and will be there long after we are gone.

“The Mindscape, then, is essentially the collection of all the propositions and concepts that might possibly be grasped, entertained, affirmed, denied, etc.  The Pythagorean theorem would be an example of a denizen of the Mindscape.  When you entertain the theorem and I do not, you are accessing a part of the Mindscape that I am not, at least at that moment, accessing.  When we are both entertaining it, we are accessing the same part of the Mindscape.  But the theorem was there before either of us accessed it and will remain there long after we are gone.  The same is true of every other proposition or concept.  They are all out there waiting to be accessed, as it were.”

United States

Rewire News

Overview of what is going down in Virginia, USA. Though it’s probably over by now. Article does a good job of fleshing out how diverse the two sides are and how there are clearly ideological differences even between the both of them. I’ve read alt right articles which pan the entire “alt lite” moment for being a bunch of idiots who can’t recognize what is happening. The point is, there’s definitely more nuance here than you would think.

Media

Geographical Imaginations

Someone made a movie that can be found of multiple platforms. It’s apparently a bunch of imagery that tries to convey the kind of paranoia that should accompany the threat of nuclear warfare. It uses a lot of jarring imagery, clips of destruction and individuals commenting on nuclear warfare, to achieve this effect.

Korea

Vox

The North Korea – South Korea dynamic reminds me a lot of Pakistan – India. They both were a nation state at one point of time. There was an acrimonious split. There’s a demographic divide when it comes to opinions about the split, and a lot more. Most importantly though, the South Korean journalist in the article explains why South Koreans themselves aren’t panicking about the nuclear holocaust. It’s because they’re just used to this.

August 11th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

Right Wing

Mother Jones

McMaster apparently fired some kind of member of the White House who wrote a memo that Trump read that detailed the deadly nexus of Islam, Cultural Marxism and Corporate interests that were aligning in the war against Trump. I wish I had access to the full memo. This is starting to seem more and more like the Red Scare from back in the day.

North Korea

Rewire

Fascinating history of the North Korean nuclear program, the geo-politics of the Korean Peninsula and how the world got to where we are now.

Op Ed News

Pepe Escobar on the current stand-off between the United States and North Korea, the various players involved and what they hope to gain from this.

India

The Wire

PM and VP comment on the outgoing VP. Class act.

Economics

Evonomics

On corruption and co-operation.

Data and Advertising

Sputnik

In the US, you can’t collect data from mobile applications that are designed for children. Disney is in trouble for doing just that. They’re still denying the charges. This also isn’t the first time that Disney has got in trouble for this. Sticky ethical situation.

Israel

Vox

Bibi is facing corruption charge upon corruption charge. In rhetoric that sounds familiar to most people in the world at this point of time, he’s blaming the media and left-wing politicians of engineering all of this against him.

Benjamin Netanyahu (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Benjamin Netanyahu (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

August 11th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Algeria

Foreign Policy Association

Algeria’s problems when it comes to terrorist groups that reside on home soil, the threat of radicalization, and what can be done about it.

Pharmaceuticals

Slate Star Codex

A cautionary tale on nootropics.

United States

Splinter News

Bernie Sanders was always notoriously dense when it came to the question of race. In fact, as I recall, some Black Lives Matter Activists actually occupied his podium once and refused to get off until he allowed them his platform to speak from. A lot of people that was hurting the cause of colored people as a whole.

Society

Vice

Erika Lust is a filmmaker with 100 titles to her name. She also started a non-profit that attempts to engage children in conversation about porn. In the article, she identifies the fact that she and any other non-profit will not be able to have the reach that schools can.

Vice

An artist in New York who used Grindr to meet the subject of his sketches. Interesting read.

Tech

Motherboard

goTenna is a company that is creating a device that can create a mesh net. That’s essentially a bunch of interconnected devices that can communicate with each other. Kind of like the internet, except these devices don’t rely on external net connectivity or even normal cellphone tower signal. Kind of the modern version of that radio you could buy, which people used to transmit and connect with each other. I honestly cannot remember the name.

Ride Share

Motherboard

Article about an Uber experiment in a Canadian town. Uber won’t say if and how profitable the entire thing was. I also do not see how this can be scaled up in any meaningful. In fact, I don’t even see how it could work in anything but a village with 4 houses.

Security

Foxtrot Alpha

If North Korea pulls the trigger and attacks the waters off Guam, the missile path of the HS-12 will take it over Japan. That’s not going to end well, for anyone.

North Korea Army (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
North Korea Army (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Sexuality

Youtuber’s on what it means to identify as asexual.

Philosophy

Brain Pickings

Short article about a Lebanese-American poet, and on the subject of memory.

“We can admit that memory resurrects the dead, but these remain within their world, not ours. The universe covers the whole, a warm blanket.

But this memory is the glue that keeps the universe as one: although immaterial, it makes being possible, it is being. If an idea didn’t remember to think, it wouldn’t be. If a chair wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be tomorrow. If I didn’t remember that I am, I won’t be. We can also say that the universe is itself the glue that keeps it going, therefore it is memory in action and in essence, in becoming and in being. Because it remembers itself, it exists. Because it exists, it remembers.”

August 10th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

United States

Sputnik News

US ambassador to the UN (Hayley) made a statement on the role that the government and the rebel groups have played in the escalating humanitarian issue in countries like Yemen.

Shadow Proof

New Democracy is an organization that plans to broaden the reach of the Democratic Party. Going by this article alone, I’m not certain how they plan to achieve that.

National Interest

Fairly surface level article on processes of assimilation in the United States and Europe. Though it does point out an interesting point that has been made over the past 4 years, since the European migrant crisis began (and I do believe it is a crisis).

China

Sputnik News

The Chinese base at Djibouti is to act as a logistics supply facility rather than for military operations. China joins Germany, US and France among others in having a base in the uniquely strategic location. Article also quotes a Chinese rear admiral as saying that they were perfectly within their rights to establish a base in Djibouti and that Indian opposition to it was based on nothing.

China's PLA (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
China’s PLA (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Religion

Christian Today

Practicing Christians have of course been a part of the Trump ship since day one. Here’s evidence that it’s not a monolithic whole. If you follow the link to the tweet at the end of the article, you’ll see some stuff about people of faith calling on congress to prevent nuclear war.

Right Wing

Zero Hedge

Article by Ilana Mercer (a libertarian), on the state of American federalism and the fact that she considers the government to be overstepping its boundaries. I don’t really know the American constitution, so I’m not going to take a shot at this. I’m going ahead and putting it down under right wing because there are lines of thought that are fairly right wing, along with all the libertarian ideas being thrown around.