Semantic Infiltration

By Paul D. Miller | Notes from the Edge of Digital Culture

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he does not regret firing James Damore

“It was the right decision,” says YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.<p>Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded today to the firing of employee James Damore over his controversial memo on workplace diversity, stating that while he does not regret the decision, he regrets that people misunderstood it as a …


Is This the Collusion We Were Waiting For?

In May 2016, Paul Erickson, an activist who has raised money for the National Rifle Association, sent an email to Rick Dearborn, an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with the super-subtle subject heading “Kremlin Connection.” As The New York Times reported last December, Erickson …


As Bitcoin Sinks, Crypto Bros Party Hard on a Blockchain Cruise

When 600 cryptocurrency enthusiasts set sail from Singapore on Monday night for their second annual Blockchain Cruise, the price of Bitcoin was …


Whitney Museum Launches Emoji Designed by Laura Owens

Emojis designed by Laura Owens (image by the author for Hyperallergic via Apple Store)Laura Owens is known primarily for her paintings, but her …

American democracy is on a break. Welcome to ‘Trumpocracy.’

<b>TRUMPOCRACY: The Corruption of the American Republic</b> <b><br>By David Frum. Harper. 304 pp. $25.99</b><p><b>IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN YOU THINK: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America</b> <b><br>By David Cay Johnston. Simon & Schuster. 320 pp. $30</b><p><b>TRUMP’S FIRST YEAR</b> <b><br>By Michael Nelson. University of Virginia. 220 pp.</b> …


100 Million Dead Trees Prompt Fears of Giant Wildfires

<i>Good morning.</i><p><i>(Want to get California Today by email?</i> <i>Here’s the sign-up</i><i>.)</i><p>The more than 100 million trees that died in California after being weakened by drought and insect infestations have transformed large swaths of the Sierra Nevada into browned-out tree cemeteries. In some areas more than 90 …


The Power of Human Touch

In 1945, the Austrian physician René Spitz investigated an orphanage that took extra care to make sure its infants were not infected with disease. The children received first-class nutrition and medical care, but they were barely touched, to minimize their contact with germs. The approach was a …

Aziz Ansari

Why People Ignore the Science Behind the Climate Crisis (and What You Can Do)

In the era of fake news, it’s more important than ever to communicate the truth about what’s happening to our planet. But what happens when you …


The mesmerizing dance of the starlings

Russia finds young men who love guns — and grooms them

By now we are all familiar with the Russian disinformation campaigns, designed to undermine democracy and sow distrust, which are present in many Western countries. The many uses of Russian corruption — the companies deployed for the political ends of the state, the banks and oligarchs who sponsor …


Why People Dislike Really Smart Leaders

Intelligence makes for better leaders—from undergraduates to executives to presidents—according to multiple studies. It certainly makes sense that …


AI codes its own ‘AI Child’ - Artificial Intelligence breakthrough!

Artificial Intelligence

How faster computers gave us Meltdown and Spectre

Spectre (Security Bug)

Nikola Tesla: A Man Ahead of His Time

Nikola Tesla

Workshop with DJ Spooky

Earth’s Warming Continued in 2017. And That Was Without El Niño.

Researchers reported Thursday that 2017 average global temperatures are just below the record set in 2016. The result was a surprise because there was no El Niño, the weather pattern usually linked to record-setting heat.

El Niño

Europe’s central banks are starting to replace dollar reserves with the yuan

Late last year, China’s Xi Jinping said it was time for the nation to “take center stage in the world.” There are many ways for China to do this, including promoting globalization, boosting foreign aid, and developing advanced technologies. Another critical step in taking “center stage” is to be at …


Did Bitcoin Just Burst? How It Compares to History's Big Bubbles

Bitcoin’s recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that’s gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go …


Facebook Doesn’t Like What It Sees When It Looks in the Mirror

DECADES ago, the brilliant satirist Tom Lehrer skewered the engineer’s willful ignorance of the consequences of his designs in a ditty about Wernher von Braun, the scientist who moved from Nazi Germany’s rocket factories to the United States space program. “Once the rockets are up, who cares where …


10 Biggest Crypto-Currencies Lose Over $100 Billion in 24 Hours

Bitcoin and other digital currencies have always been volatile, so a big daily drop is not unusual. That said, Tuesday was a particularly ugly day …


Senate Democrats close to majority in drive to restore net neutrality

(Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democrats said on Tuesday they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber to overturn the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s decision to reverse the Obama administration's net neutrality rules, leaving them just one vote short of a majority.<p>Senator Ed …


Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism

A scientist and a monk compare notes on meditation, therapy, and their effects on the brain<p>Can training the mind make us more attentive, altruistic, and serene? Can we learn to manage our disturbing emotions in an optimal way? What are the transformations that occur in the brain when we practice …

Matthieu Ricard

When Steve Jobs Gave Andy Warhol a Computer Lesson

Andy Warhol drawing Debbie Harry on an Amiga computer. Photo by Allan Tannenbaum.It was October 9th, 1984, and Steve Jobs was going to a …

Fine Art

The Singularity, Skynet, and the Future of Computing: Crash Course Computer Science #40


It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less-Addictive iPhone

It’s not Apple’s fault that you feel enslaved by your phone. But the company that gave the world the modern smartphone has a perfect opportunity this year to create a brave and groundbreaking new take on that device: a phone that encourages you to use it more thoughtfully, more deliberately — and a …


How Dangerous Is Facebook?


David Byrne Launches the “Reasons to Be Cheerful” Web Site: A Compendium of News Meant to Remind Us That the World Isn’t Actually Falling Apart

Whatever your ideological persuasion, our time has no doubt given you more than a few reasons to fear for the future of civilization, not least …


Consciousness, Quantum Physics, and Reality

Quantum Mechanics

After 44 Years Patagonia Released Its First Commercial & It's Not About Clothing

Over Patagonia’s 44 year history it has never aired a single commercial, up until now. From the early roots of Patagonia in 1973, founded by environmental activist Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia has always viewed capitalism with a different lens.<p>You likely own Patagonia clothing and if not, you …