Westworld Season Two Is a Parable About Corporate Data Collection (via @Reason)

“We allowed ourselves to be convinced that imaginary lines between the “real world” and the digital realm were more meaningful and secure than they really were, and convinced ourselves that those guarding our web worlds would always be guided more by their revolutionary roots than the kind of corporatism that steers establishment entities. And as Facebook and other big social networks exploded, the new connectivity, diversions, drama, illusion of anonymity, possibilities to play different roles, promise of (micro) fame, and easy satisfaction of psychological drives that they provided kept us distracted, or deluded, out of applying caution and thinking more criticially.

Recently, this spell has started to break as awareness about how Facebook and other companies have been careless with user data has grown. Yet masses of people are still handing over their DNA to all sorts of ancestry and gene testing companies and inviting “smart” snoops like Amazon’s Alexa into their bedrooms.

So while the central threat in season one of the Westworld was still somewhat far removed from our reality—the state of android technology and artificial intelligence in the real world is still way less advanced than many people think it is—this season’s new menace lurks a lot closer to home. ”  —

The HBO series turns Facebook and Twitter into a theme park filled with sex, violence, and robots.

 

How The Tiny Nation Of Georgia Became A Bitcoin Behemoth

How The Tiny Nation Of Georgia Became A Bitcoin Behemoth

Cryptocurrency mining is the digital equivalent of minting real money, except that anyone with the right hardware and software can do it, by taking part in what amounts to a giant virtual competition. Think of it like a lottery, where computers linked across the Internet compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles, with the number of players constantly rising. The owner of the computer that finds the right solution is rewarded with a “block” of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, which is then registered and verified on a decentralized database system known as the blockchain.

In practice, it involves a kind of constant digital bombardment to find these solutions, 24 hours a day, consuming huge amounts of electricity. And thanks to its cheap hydropower and low regulation, Georgia is now ranked second in the world for cryptocurrency mining — behind only China.

10th Amendment “Anti-Commandeering” Doctrine Expressly Protects States’ and Peoples’ Right to Give the Feds the Finger.

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United States Supreme Court cases have established and firmly reinforced over the years the legal doctrine holding that the federal government has no authority to force states to participate in implementing or enforcing its federal acts and regulatory programs.

The basis for what is now known as the legal doctrine of “anti-commandeering” was the advice of James Madison, writing in Federalist #46. There, he advised four primary tactics for individuals and states to effectively push back against federal overreach, including a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”

This lead to the inclusion of the Tenth Amendment within the Bill of Rights to the Constitution which unequivocally and unambiguously states:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

See, generally,

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/…/anti-commandeering-the-l…/

See, e.g.,

Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842)(held that the federal government could not force states to implement or carry out the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793);

New York v. United States (1992)(held that the regulations in the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendment Act of 1985 were coercive and violated the sovereignty of New York);

Printz v. United States (1997)(held that the Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program);

Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012)(held that the federal government cannot compel states to expand Medicaid by threatening to withhold funding for Medicaid programs already in place, and that allowing Congress to essentially punish states that refused to go along violates constitutional separation of powers).

 

 

Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

With anti-establishment politics shaking governments across the west, US and European intelligence chiefs are newly raising the alarm about Russian cyber attacks and information warfare, saying they pose a threat to their democracies. In the US, the warnings have been met with a mix of outrage and outright dubiousness. While a bipartisan group of senators…

via Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

Mark Cuban Is Right: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Hurting His Brand — Fortune

“If @realDonaldTrump loses this election, im betting he personally goes bankrupt w/in 7 yrs. Thats how toxic his brand now is.” So tweeted self-made billionaire Mark Cuban yesterday. And while I take no position on the bankruptcy forecast, Cuban’s point about Trump’s brand is valid and important. Trump’s presidential run – unlike virtually all his…

via Mark Cuban Is Right: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Hurting His Brand — Fortune