The Daily (or whenever) Eruption


Join the World’s Largest Activist Organization: Wednesday 3/7/18

Claiming 46 million members in almost every nation, Paris- and New York-based Avaaz (they say it means “song” in many languages) has had unprecedented success in tackling environmental threats, human trafficking, political corruption and other issues in hundreds of thousands campaigns. Visit their multilingual website to see summaries of recent successes and a few failures. When, for instance, Monsanto sued Avaaz for trying to block use of their pesticides, members chipped in to pay for legal representation and Monsanto backed off. Click the membership map below for an interactive version that shows worldwide membership distribution and learn more about what they do, and then sign on. File under Activism.

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Cutting Cords to Kurds: Facebook’s Foreign Policy

NOTE: This article has been updated to include subsequent events. It is also posted on CounterPunch.

One of my correspondents (let’s call her Jinwar), a supporter of autonomous areas in northwestern Kurdistan, notified me that Facebook had deleted her support group’s page plus her personal page as well those of others, requesting that the above graphic be shared widely on social media. (But before doing so, please read the last four paragraphs.)

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A.I. Enablers Gear Up to Assault Intellect

Perhaps you haven’t noticed the investor class getting all gung-ho these days over Artificial Intelligence (AI). Only a couple of decades ago, these same people dismissed AI because it wasn’t very useful yet. But that’s all changed due to advances in machine vision and learning, and now VCs, hedge funds, and most of the rest of the usual big-money suspects are salivating over prospects of automating most of the rest of the economy, even including agriculture.

Thanks to its clot of institutions of higher learning, Boston—my fair city—is littered with tech startups and factories that churn them out. They and the Hub’s cloud of serial investors have created a knot of compressed energy, the nexus of which one can find at a suite in Kendall Square—epicenter of Boston’s tech scene, featuring outposts of Google, Oracle, Facebook and Amazon, pharma firms like Merck and Novartis and a host of biotechy startups fed by MIT’s biomedical research complex, augmented by its AI and Media Labs—where every Thursday evening prime movers get together for suds and savvy strategizing at private oasis called Venture Café. Continue reading “A.I. Enablers Gear Up to Assault Intellect”