Three cheers to Wikileaks! That is what journalism was supposed to be before it became News Incorporated.
According to the New York Times, “The French government joined others in condemning the disclosure of diplomatic documents. Paris would stand with the United States and against the publication, which threaten “democratic sovereignty and authority.”
So giving information to the people undermines democracy? Authority, I get, clearly it does. But democracy? “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both.” ~ James Madison
Continue reading Wikileeks soup, and the governments who assessed and ate it
An old post that I’m bumping back up to the top because of the interest it has generated…
In finishing up my new science fiction novel I went through a lot of research on Laplace’s Demon. In the process, I stumbled onto the computational limit of the universe. Based on the minimum amount of time you need to move data across the Planck length, at the speed of light, there’s a limit to the computational power of the universe that’s about 10-to-the-power-of-120 bits (actually 10^120 operations on 10^90 bits of data). Anything needing more data can’t be computed in the fifteen billion years or so that the universe has existed so far. Calculating the location of every atom in the universe would require more than 10^120. Ergo, omniscience is impossible even for a computing organism the size and age of the universe.
Continue reading Accidental Proof that God Does Not Exist
I had a great idea for today’s piece, but I forgot it. That annoyed me, because over the course of the last twenty years I’ve read a dozen memory books, from one of the earliest by the Yoda of memory training, Harry Lorayne — I forget its name, but it was from 1986 — to a bunch of recent ones for which I don’t even remember the authors’ names. I do remember where the books are…in a thousand-pound stack of other books in storage in my ex-wife’s family law firm in Tennessee. Which doesn’t help. Online would help, since I could look it up anywhere, anytime. Then I remembered I have a website. Much better storage than the basement of a southern law firm that I’ll never see again. So here goes, my collected reservoir of forgotten memory aids.
Continue reading My Forgotten Memory Training
Prison wardens realized long ago that if you allow the prisoners to rearrange their own furniture, there are far fewer riots. That’s pretty much all voting is in a country of 300 million. The only reason it makes any sense at all today is that the Republican party has decided that all the furniture should be thrown out and everyone except the top-dog prisoners is going to sleep on beds made of shivs. Is that a “real” difference? I’m not sure. Maybe if the redecorating is drastic enough, it becomes real.
“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” — Emma Goldman
I’ve always been a firm believer in Goldman’s quote, but since it seems that the Republicans are trying to do just that, perhaps that’s a sign that this time voting is actually worth doing.
Still undecided? Here’s a hint:
“Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” — Benito Mussolini
“Corporations are people.” — Mitt Romney