In January 2008 Anonymous, a loose collection of “hackers”, previously known only for cyber bullying and cracking copyrighted software, attacked the Church of Scientology’s web site. The Church had been trying to scrub the internet of pictures of Tom Cruise acting crazy. The sudden shift to political activism, known as “hackerism”, changed the way political issues could play out on line.
Four months later, Wikileaks got it’s first scoup; the theology and “bibles” of the Church of Scientology, which it published on line. The litigious church wanted the information taken down. Fat chance. Wikileaks never took down the postings.
Anonymous has since attacked internet service companies and government websites filling the space vacated by Wiki after it was thrown off of Amazon and Pay Pal concerned over the legality of publishing government secrets.
The rise of both organizations, Wiki and Anonymous, has sparked a geek awakening. These geeks, known previously for their attitude rather than their political awareness, are challenging the traditional notions of governance. Read more
Busy #opengov week here in NYC. I’m pleased to be attending the following events on behalf of PPF: Read more
Writing from the plane headed to the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver, CO, organized by the terrific folks at PPF’s longtime friends at Free Press. My first time in Denver, look forward to seeing the mountains. Read more
Two of the PPF team will be at SxSW Interactive this week.
I’ll be there to sneak-preview the recently re-designed OpenGovernment.org, for engagement with state & city government. I’m attending with James McKinney, the E.D. of the Canadian non-profit Open North, who is working as OpenGovernment’s technical lead. Here’s my draft pubilc schedule, feel free to suggest events. Ping me anytime to meet up to see the new OG user interface & give your feedback, we’re easy to reach & happy to chat. AIM / Skype: davidmooreppf, #opengovernment in Freenode on IRC, david at ppolitics.org over email. Read more
In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Presidential election it was nearly impossible to not hear the name Nate Silver. His projections of the election came to dominate the news cycle and he himself became the subject of the media zeitgeist. Silver was either lambasted as a charlatan by those who disagreed with his lean towards an Obama win; or he was heralded as a genius by liberals whose fear of a Romney victory he assuaged. This backdrop was the perfect setting to be reading Silver’s first book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t. The narrative in the book described a far different world of projection and probabilistic thinking then what was occurring in the media in the lead up to the election. Read more
Four days before the 2012 Presidential election one enduring mantra from both candidates has been “jobs, jobs, jobs.” With unemployment in the U.S. hovering around 8%, the big question is how to get people back to work. Ro Khanna, a former Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Obama administration, argues that U.S. manufacturing is integral to putting Americans to work and for the general welfare of the nation. His new book, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future, delves into the state of manufacturing in the U.S. today, why manufacturing is crucial to the U.S. future, and what policies the country should aim for to strengthen the manufacturing sector. Khanna elucidates his points by using real world manufacturing case examples from his time as a Deputy Assistant. Read more
The rhetoric of free markets and smaller government is at the forefront of American political debate and has sunk deeply into the consciousness of most American citizens, this even after the 2008 financial crisis which could be argued as the greatest failure of markets since the Great Depression. In his new book, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, Joseph Stiglitz addresses the interplay of market failure, an ambivalent government, and how they interact, to create an ever worsening state of Inequality in the U.S. The Price of Inequality is a forceful exposition that exposes the existence of widening inequality, the causes of the inequality, the consequences of inequality, and, finally, how we can attempt to correct harmful inequality. Read more
Once there was a serial killer. His name was William Hickman.
He was rather famous back in the 1920s. The son of a paranoid schizophrenic mother and grandmother he would torture and kill cats as kid. Anyone who knew him thought he was growing up to be a maniac. Like every good sociopath he stayed on his best behavior so as not to attract unwanted attention from strangers or the law.
After strangling a woman in Milwaukee and killing an old man for his wallet and throwing his body off of a bridge, he murdered a 12 year old girl in 1927, Marion Parker - because he wanted to. He was 19 years old.
He kidnaped her and sent a ransom note to her doctor father. After her father delivered the money to Hickman in his car, our psychopath drove away and tossed the little girl's head and torso out of the car for her dad. He had dismembered her and proceeded to throw parts of her all over the highway.
Hickman was arrested and eventually hanged.
But Hickman had a groupie. Our groupie kept a journal filled with gushing praise for this killer of little girls. She loved his sociopathic qualities. Read more
In the course of a generally favorable review of Among the Creationists over at The Panda’s Thumb blog, Matt Young wrote the following: Read more
Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck YearsThis weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup Read more
Book Discussion Group
The Politicus book discussion group is for anyone interested in discussing books and movies involving politics.
- Meets the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00pm (Aug 20th 2012)
- Books and movies are chosen by you! Votes will be held at the end of each book.
- Discussion materials are chosen depending on the group's interests, existing popular material, and current events
- eCopies will be provided for free on a first come, first served basis. Please Leave a comment if you want to receive the book. It will be emailed to the email account you used to register on The Politicus Read more
Sometimes I wonder what the mailman thinks of me. One day he's delivering the new issue of Free Inquiry, the next he's leaving something from Creation Ministries International. Read more
I recently had a conversation with Greg Gorey of Think Atheist Radio about my book Among the Creationists. We discussed the history and cultures of creationism, the problem of evil, methodological naturalism, my experiences socializing with creationists and several other things besides. From my end I can honestly say it was one of the most interesting conversations I have had on these topics, so I hope you enjoy it. The discussion is fifty minutes long. So go have a listen and let me know what you think! Read more
A week or so ago, lots of people were linking to this New York Review of Books article by Steven Weinberg on "The Crisis of Big Science," looking back over the last few decades of, well, big science. It's somewhat dejected survey of whopping huge experiments, and the increasing difficulty of getting them funded, including a good deal of bitterness over the cancellation of the Superconducting Supercollider almost twenty years ago. This isn't particularly new for Weinberg-- back at the APS's Centennial Meeting in Atlanta in 1999, he gave a big lecture where he spent a bunch of time fulminating about what idiots politicians were for cancelling the project. Read more