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Hinge of History Thread Part 3

82 posts in this topic

Massive layoffs are hitting media across the board. Mashable sells for a fraction of its value from one year ago, Buzzfeed to lay off 100 people, ESPN as well. What is going on? Is Mainstream media dying?

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Technology, Work, and Society – The Age of Transition

David Foster

December 15th, 2017

 

I recently read an intriguing book concerned with the exponential advances in technology and the impact thereof on human society.  The author believes that the displacement of human labor by technology is in its very early stages, and sees little limit to the process.  He is concerned with how this will affect–indeed, has already affected–the relationship between the sexes and of parents and children, as well as the ability of ordinary people to earn a decent living.  It’s a thoughtful analysis by someone who clearly cares a great deal about the well-being of his fellow citizens.

The book is Peter Gaskell’s Artisans and Machinery, and it was published in 1836. The technology with which he is concerned is steam power, which he sees in its then-present incarnation as merely “Hercules in the cradle…opening into view a long vista of rapid transitions, terminating in the subjection of human power, as an agent of labour, to the gigantic and untiring energies of automatic machinery.”

What Gaskell sees this infant Hercules as already having caused is this:

 

(Snip)

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The Decentralization and Democratization of Film Production is Near

December 23, 2017

B.J. Murphy

Keeping up with films and TV shows that catch my interest is proving to be increasingly more difficult, if not for any other reason than the fact that there are so many these days.

Partially, I believe the reason for this is due to the fact that producing a film and TV show is a lot less difficult and a lot less expensive than what it used to be. At one point, film production was solely concentrated by a handful of companies. Today, we're witnessing an accelerating number of independent film producers hitting up the festivals and taking over the box office charts.

Which isn't to say that producing a film is dirt cheap; it's not. These independent film producers are still putting in quite a bit of money, but it's nowhere near what the cost used to be, and this is largely thanks in part to the technology behind modern film production.

Eventually, producing a film will be dirt cheap; eventually, all a person will need is a smartphone and a software suite to render pre-designed (though randomized) CGI, lighting, localized audio segments, etc. in mere minutes. This would be achieved using advanced machine learning algorithms, allowing a child in elementary school to produce a thrilling 90-minute film in a couple of days, of which would normally take several months and a whole crew today.

(Snip)

 

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The Election of 1856: A Victorious Defeat

23 MIN AGO Chris Calton

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act drove many northerners to form Anti-Nebraska coalitions that ultimately yielded the Republican Party. The election of 1856 did not yield a Republican presidential victory, but it did produce a party that, through compromise and political maneuvering, was able to emerge as the dominant new party to compete with the bitterly divided Democrats.

 https://mises.org/system/tdf/Historical Controversies Episode 21.mp3?file=1&type=audio

:snip: 

https://mises.org/library/election-1856-victorious-defeat 

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On 12/27/2017 at 10:10 AM, Draggingtree said:

The Election of 1856: A Victorious Defeat

23 MIN AGO Chris Calton

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act drove many northerners to form Anti-Nebraska coalitions that ultimately yielded the Republican Party. The election of 1856 did not yield a Republican presidential victory, but it did produce a party that, through compromise and political maneuvering, was able to emerge as the dominant new party to compete with the bitterly divided Democrats.

 https://mises.org/system/tdf/Historical Controversies Episode 21.mp3?file=1&type=audio

:snip: 

https://mises.org/library/election-1856-victorious-defeat 

Always happy to see others posting to this thread, But I have to ask......What does this have to do with the Hinge of History?

Might be better over at the History Thread

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Vision-Improving Nanoparticle Eyedrops Could End Need For Glasses

Joseph Curl

March 9, 2018

What will they think of next?

A team of ophthalmologists has invented and tested “nanodrops" that could make prescription eyeglasses as old-fashioned as a good blood-letting.

The team at Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University found that the nanodrops, combined with a laser process, improved vision for both both near- and far-sightedness — but only on pig eyes. Clinical testing on humans will begin later this year (which means you could literally be a guinea "pig" [sorry]).

The process works in three steps, Zeev Zalevsky, professor of electrical engineering and nanophotonics at Bar-Ilan University, who worked on the project, told Digital Trends.

 

(Snip)

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At The Disinvitation Dinner, Charles Murray Offers Cautious Pessimism

Charles Murray, a front-line soldier in the war over academic freedom, offered some words of hope at the Disinvitation Dinner, and much cause for concern.

David Marcus

May 3, 2018

(Snip)

The Reluctant Optimist

In a nutshell, Murray’s case for optimism boiled down to the information revolution and the decentralization and privatization of regulatory authority. Regarding the former, he argued convincingly that access to information has made us all freer. Anecdotes about early modems that snailed along barely faster than the Pony Express punctuated his point. It is well taken. Access to information is indeed an accelerator of freedom.

Murray’s second cause for optimism is a good deal more complicated. He argues that the government in the age of social media need not play an aggressive role in regulation. Citing government regulation of the meat industry, he argued that if those regulations went away and Safeway started selling contaminated meat, the marketplace through social media would punish that action immediately. Maybe.

But within the context of this particular dinner, Murray’s assertion raised at least as many fears as hopes. He is absolutely correct that the realm of regulation, including that of speech, is moving away from the government towards the private sector. But can we possibly believe that will help free speech instead of chilling it? After all, within the realm of social media, as Murray put it, “It is obligatory to believe that the people who disagree with you politically are not only wrong, but also, evil. Which is just as much a problem on the Right as on the Left.”

(Snip)

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Forward to 14 minute mark...or not

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Happy Birthday

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee 1955

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist. He was born in London, and his parents were early computer scientists, working on one of the earliest computers.

Growing up, Sir Tim was interested in trains and had a model railway in his bedroom. He recalls:

“I made some electronic gadgets to control the trains. Then I ended up getting more interested in electronics than trains. Later on, when I was in college I made a computer out of an old television set.”

After graduating from Oxford University, Berners-Lee became a software engineer at CERN, the large particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Scientists come from all over the world to use its accelerators, but Sir Tim noticed that they were having difficulty sharing information.

“In those days, there was different information on different computers, but you had to log on to different computers to get at it. Also, sometimes you had to learn a different program on each computer. Often it was just easier to go and ask people when they were having coffee…”, Tim says.

Tim thought he saw a way to solve this problem – one that he could see could also have much broader applications. Already, millions of computers were being connected together through the fast-developing internet and Berners-Lee realised they could share information by exploiting an emerging technology called hypertext.

(Snip)

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

And nothing was ever the same again

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Hollywood is in A Lot of Trouble!

 

This cost $7,500 to make.

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Eugenics-Engineered Babies’ Brains Changed by CRISPR

Wesley J. Smith

February 21, 2019

The brains of two babies who were germ-line gene edited using the CRISPR process — meaning the engineered genetic changes will flow down the generations — were probably impacted by the procedure. From the MIT Technology Review story:

Quote

New research shows that the same alteration introduced into the girls’ DNA, to a gene called CCR5, not only makes mice smarter but also improves human brain recovery after stroke, and could be linked to greater success in school.

“The answer is likely yes, it did affect their brains,” says Alcino J. Silva, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose lab has been uncovering a major new role for the CCR5 gene in memory and the brain’s ability to form new connections.

“The simplest interpretation is that those mutations will probably have an impact on cognitive function in the twins,” says Silva. He says the exact effect on the girls’ cognition is impossible to predict, and “that is why it should not be done.”

(Snip)

All of this demonstrates the folly of germ-line eugenics engineering:

Quote

Silva says there is a big difference between trying to correct deficits in such patients and trying to create enhancement. “Cognitive problems are one of the biggest unmet needs in medicine. We need drugs, but it’s another thing to take normal people and muck with the DNA or chemistry to improve them,” he says. “We simply don’t know enough to do it. Nature has struck a very fine balance.”

 

(Snip)

* It’s time to take the peril this technology poses to the human future very seriously. There should be an immediate, legally enforceable moratorium on human germ-line engineering experiments until international laws and regulations can be enacted. Human enhancement germ-line engineering should be permanently outlawed, and laws passed denying patent or other intellectual property protections for any scientist or biotech company breaching those protocols.

(Snip)

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*Is this even possible? If this happens it will be the 1st time in history (as far as we know) a piece of technology has Not been used.

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Apr 10, 2019
In one of his last recorded speeches, Herbert E. Meyer spoke about his service at the CIA and some of the most important -- and under-reported -- trends in world affairs, including:

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Apr. 19 2019

Michael Guillen is in the studio to outline the science behind "The End of Life as We Know It" -- are humans crossing lines of no return?

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May 13 2019

 

UPI:SpaceX Starlink launch reset for Thursday night

Paul Brinkmann

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 16 (UPI) -- SpaceX will try to launch its first 60 Starlink satellites from Florida again Thursday night, with weather favorable but still presenting a risk of strong upper-level winds that caused a postponement Wednesday night.

SpaceX plans to use the satellites to start a high-speed internet network, aiming to launch up to 12,000 of them eventually.

 

(Snip)

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