Every year or so, there’s one article/essay that stands out from everything I come across. This is one such work. It shows the correlation between violence and repressed sexuality, lack of affection towards children, sensory deprivation and various forms of social damage. It’s a long read, but you can also read just parts of it and I’d wager you’ll still be enriched by this amazing work.
Finally, thanks to the CLOUD act passed earlier this year, American companies have the right to spy for the government of the USA on pretty much anybody that uses American products. The act also indirectly opens the door for other governments that enjoy snooping in their citizens’ private lives. And guess what, major tech companies had no problem turning their back on their customers because (surprise!) the act will save them loads of cash:
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Of course, this is all done with ethics and responsibility at the forefront, in the glorious battle against organized crime. Even if I wasn’t sarcastic, this is, after all, yet another weapon in the USA’s cyberwarfare arsenal. And the walls protecting our private lives have already started to fall.
Time for a look into some amazing engineering. Sweden’s capital is experiencing increasing traffic difficulties due to both its growth and the growth of other cities in the country. This often generates traffic that exceeds the capacity of the current infrastructure.
Major European road E4 currently passes through Stockholm, where it mixes with the local traffic, leading to unpleasant experiences for everybody involved. But come 2026, vehicles traveling the North-South direction close to the capital will benefit from one of the superstructures of the 21st century.
In a surprising move, major American retailer Walmart actually decided to remove from its inventory t-shirts that advocated killing journalists. /sarcasm
The USA has gone completely astray.
By “completely”, I mean the outcome of an election. When a democratic country elects to pursue a certain course, then it is a complete commitment. Yes, there may be opposition, but the overall direction has been set – and in the case of the US of A, I believe that the direction is astray.
By “astray”, I mean that while most of society (world-wide) considers murder to be wrong, the USA has managed to devalue life in such a way that murder can be commercialized with incredibly little public backlash. I believe that the lack of a major social response against the retailers, users and companies that produce such merchandise is due to Americans having been desensitized to violence.
Solar-power uptake has been doing very well recently due to falling costs in producing it. In any contest, there are events that can seal the victory. In the energy contest between fossil and renewable, I believe that Tesla has won a major battle. And it all happens in the country that is the world’s top exporter of the dirtiest fossil fuel (Australia, coal).
Minecraft is innocent enough, right? Many tales of wicked deeds sometimes have an unlikely, harmless beginning. Here is one such tale.
Even though it’s about something that happened way back in 2016 (a cyberattack on the DNS network that crippled the Internet for a majority of users in North America), this well-written cyberwar article is totally worth sharing in light of recent privacy and security scandals.
Here’s the latest about the unethical involvement of animals in the puerile affairs of Homo sapiens. France is training eagles to attack terrorist drones. The idea of training animals for the purpose of taking out enemy military hardware isn’t new. Military dolphins were around since last century. At least there are some arguably ethical uses for dolphins, such as finding people lost at sea. France seems to think that the eye-sight of eagles is perfect for spotting and taking out “terrorist robots”.
This will only lead to “the terrorists” creating more dangerous drones (perhaps those that can shoot back), or simply to make them look different. I’m guessing humans can outsmart eagles in camouflage. Even if a nation-state manages to deploy “eagle squads” in every major city, available 24/7, it is still unlikely that much can be done against a well-organized drone attack.
Back in September of 2017, I met Oliwer, a Norwegian Green Peace activist looking for donations in Stockholm. He told me that they’re trying to stop the Norwegians from drilling for oil in the Arctic. He also told me about how a powerful, profitable company involved in logging is attempting to disrupt the environmental organization by suing it for a massive amount in damages to their business.
I asked him to tell me more, as it was hard to understand for me how such a thing could even work. My image of Green Peace was that of a world-wide, semi-decentralized network of agents (mostly volunteers). It’s hard to kill such an organization, especially given the volunteering aspect. Unfortunately, most money still leaves a trail (I’d switch to donations via cryptocurrencies if I were Green Peace).
I promised the man that instead of donating money, I’ll donate time and do what I do best: investigate and write. The case he told me about is only one of the many times corporations and even governments have went after Green Peace. It is, however, one of the most ridiculous (although admittedly not as ridiculous as when the government of Australia tried to basically pay a corporation to sue Green Peace).
Every decade or so, we get a couple of very interesting companies to keep an eye on. I’m not referring here to being profitable (even though that’s often the case). It’s about being interesting, as in ground-breaking, mind-bending, evolutionary. This is not a recipe for long-term success, as these companies can either become nearly-unshakable, established names, or end up fading into mediocrity.
Amazon is most definitely a company to watch out for. It has historically been doing quite well for itself, but as this decade approaches its end, things are getting really interesting. Here’s a very well written and thought-provoking article about the firm.
It is said that “you are what you eat”. That stands true not only for humans, but for everything that eats. It’s well known that at optimal temperatures and humidity, plants thrive given light and carbon-dioxide. It was considered that one of the perhaps positive effects of global warming would be that plants would grow faster. This self-balancing property of our ecosystem could even contribute to cleaning up our atmosphere, as more plants would eat more CO2. That may very well hold true, if it wasn’t for desertification.
However, even though plants do thrive thanks to having more carbon-dioxide available, they apparently are not as nutritious. This is an extremely important finding, because, like the linked article points out, “increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is reducing the protein in staple crops like rice, wheat, barley and potatoes, raising unknown risks to human health in the future”.