Germany’s states have voted to introduce federal legislation that would criminalize the act of providing technical infrastructure for so-called dark-web marketplaces where illegal activities take place.
Before entering a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of one of the deadliest mass murders in the country’s history, the accused gunman paused to endorse a YouTube star in a video that appeared to capture the shooting.
“Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie,” he said.
To an untrained eye, this would have seemed like a bizarre detour.
But the people watching the video stream recognized it as something entirely different: a meme.
In October 2017, a SWAT team descended on Jameson Lopp’s house in North Carolina. Someone — it still isn’t clear who — had called the police and falsely claimed that a shooter at the home had killed someone and taken a hostage. After the police left, Mr. Lopp received a call threatening more mayhem if he did not make a large ransom payment in Bitcoin.
To scare off future attackers, Mr. Lopp quickly posted a video on Twitter of himself firing off his AR-15 rifle. He also decided he was going to make it much harder for his enemies — and anyone else — to find him ever again.
Mr. Lopp, a self-described libertarian who works for a Bitcoin security company, had long been obsessed with the value of privacy, and he set out to learn how thoroughly a person can escape the all-seeing eyes of corporate America and the government. But he wanted to do it without giving up internet access and moving to a shack in the woods.
There are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles about the prospect of human extinction. This should not be surprising, given the increasingly threatening predations of climate change. In reflecting on this question, I want to suggest an answer to a single question, one that hardly covers the whole philosophical territory but is an important aspect of it. Would human extinction be a tragedy?
Probably not. But here are some techniques grifters use, courtesy of Maria Konnikova and her new book about con artists.
In November, I came across a story that made absolutely no sense to me. A 33-year-old consultant named Niall Rice gave $718,000, little by little, to two Manhattan psychics who promised to reunite him with an old flame. How could someone be so gullible? Rice himself didn’t even seem to know: “I just got sucked in,” he told The New York Times later.
As it turns out, it’s much easier to fall for these types of cons than many people think. As Maria Konnikova, a psychologist and New Yorker contributor, explains in her new book, The Confidence Game, grifters manipulate human emotions in genius (and evil) ways, striking right when we feel lovelorn or otherwise emotionally vulnerable. I recently spoke with Konnikova about cons, why they happen, and if there’s any way to avoid becoming a fraudster’s next target. A lightly edited version of our conversation follows.
Scientists have demonstrated time reversal in a quantum computer, returning three qubits (the basic unit of quantum information) to their state a fraction of a second earlier.
In the last few days an alarming article making the rounds on social media has revived the idea that our species might be doing itself in by changing the global climate. The article, by vice.com’s Nathan Curry, minces no words in its title: “Humanity Is Getting Verrrrrrry Close to Extinction,” with the extra rs in the original.
Assorted rants by schizophrenic Polish-American conspiracist/outsider artist Francis E. Dec, Esquire.
Welcome to the world’s single most comprehensive source of writings by Francis E. Dec! Below are housed Mr. Dec’s rants – illustrated by me – along with other correspondence written by the man throughout his life. While rants by Dec have been available online in the past, this web site is unique in that it contains material by Dec available nowhere else and which has never before been seenby his fans! Most, if not all of this new material was graciously donated to the Fanclub in late 2008. Dec’s legal correspondence, also available below, was dug up from various government archives during 2006 and 2007 by dedicated Decologist Ted Torbich!
“frustrated with this global inaction, the World Bank released a report on Sunday saying that without significant emissions reductions, the world’s average temperature could climb by 4°C (7.2°F) by as early as 2060. “
” The idea that we could adapt to a 4C rise is absurd and dangerous. Global warming on this scale would be a catastrophe that would mean, in the immortal words that Chief Seattle probably never spoke, “the end of living and the beginning of survival” for humankind. Or perhaps the beginning of our extinction.”
“Oil giants Shell and BP are planning for global temperatures to rise as much as 5°C by the middle of the century.”
A story about Abrupt Climate Change.