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"We're stopping attacks daily..." is a misleading statement. The NSA may very well be stopping hackers from penetrating certain infrastructures, or foiling acts of cyber warfare. However, we have no idea how damaging these attacks would be precisely because the agency is so secretive, and these attacks are most CERTAINLY NOT preventing 'blow up a subway system'-type attacks daily. Not even close, by Alexander's own admission:
The 60 Minutes piece is misleading in many ways. It essentially gave Alexander a pulpit to refute the very serious constitutional violations he's overseen in the most effective way-- lying.
As to Greenwald and Snowden failing to offer alternatives-- that's not their job. Greenwald is a journalist and Snowden was a system admin. Neither of them have the training or responsibility to competently create an alternative. Isn't it enough to know that there is one? Are we resigned to a de-facto surveillance state? See the three degrees of separation parameters they have around suspects (http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/28/nsa...)-- essentially if someone is targeted for whatever reason, everyone they know, everyone their friends know and everyone their friends' friends know are fair game to be spied upon. If Alexander is telling the truth about only '60 authorizations for spying on US persons', then that can mean as many as 60+ million Americans. Can we not acknowledge that that is overboard and that it was not the only solution? Must we have a counter-solution in order to point out constitutional violations?
This belongs here, too: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2013/04/040413-cals-hydrog...
I feel as though, while there will be a great deal of resistance from special interest groups, some sort of large-scale change is inevitable. With such abundant sources of energy, I don't see why entrepreneurs would resist automation. No health coverage to worry about, no one getting injured on the job, execution as perfect as code allows it to be. No pensions to worry about.
Also, with at the rate these things are developing, I can't help but imagine that there will be an invention (perhaps made possible by graphene capacitors) that give people relatively inexpensive energy autonomy. It isalready happening on a small scale via solar panels and personal wind turbines.
Artificial Photosynthesis: the possibilities with a technology like this is vast. The real beauty of artificial photosynthesis lay in the implication that our technologies can redeem our environmental sins, in a way. 'Cut down all the trees! We're working on artificial wood, too!'
Body Heat Batteries: perhaps the least consequential of the linked technologies due to the limited amount of heat humans produce, it still has the potential to change our daily lives. Imagine using these to help with the electricity bill, or as an extra charge for your ipad. I would assert that the precedent is important: utilizing that runoff energy, being more efficient.
Graphene Capacitor I don't even know where to start with the things this technology could mean if made practical. Super simple, portable, orders of magnitude more efficient. It could mean the supremacy of the electric car, or immunity from blackouts.
My forever project is a collaborative graphic novel/literary journal I won a fellowship to create back in 2010 from the University of Cincinnati. It's rough, jumbled, and has been described as esoteric, but it's my favorite thing to do, and I have high hopes for it. http://www.thecatalinaproject.com
You know, I don't think that Hubski inclusiveness is an issue. I don't think that it comes off as snobbish or esoteric. The potential for memes and quick laughs are there, it's just that people have other websites for that.
I think though, that what could really make Hubski unique (and partly what makes it dear to me now) is concentrating on the comments. I look at Hubski as kind of a localised, interactive TED talk. And you know what? I love that. I love looking at articles, and then being genuinely interested in everyone on this website's take on it.
I think that, tag-centric vs. user-centric concerns aside, the mods and users should really focus on making this place about the comments. It's probably easy to overlook the potential of this-- I think that, because so many Hubski users come from Reddit (myself included), there is an emphasis on high-quality content. We tend to focus on the links, maybe because Reddit is focused on the links, or because it's easy to compare Hubski to other aggregate sites. But I think that Hubski's power is in conversation-- our take on things. For every link we click, in the comments, I look forward to a wealth of information. The mods could really capitalize on this. Maybe come up with some etiquette-- links, links everywhere backing up your claims. Loose word count standards, as a courtesy. Widespread academic articles which give us perspective on the latest Slate or CNN article. I said this in my last post: examples of 1st tier comments in each profile, rather than links posted. A user-centric, intellectual, comment-oriented, inclusive environment.
I'm with the OP, too. It's evident that they put a lot of work into this place, and care deeply about the community.
Learning about advancements in technology on the horizon, and understanding the limitless things there are to be discovered, just within our own world, has made me come to view many of the problems that we have today as temporary/fixable. Are they still important? Yes. Will they be the end of us? I don't think so, not if we are diligent with our utility.
I read an article earlier on in the week about research being done to 'grow' meat. As in, taking inorganic matter, and making it into a hamburger. Yesterday I read about batteries powered by our own body heat. Two months ago, I read that researchers have successfully created 'mechanical trees' which function to take in CO2 and release oxygen. This is just the beginning, and doesn't even begin to delve into the fundamental things we are starting to understand about the building blocks of the universe.
I feel as though humanity has made it to the part of the movie where its running from the building that's about to explode. I think we're going to make it. I think that our technology will trump our problems. I am hopeful. :)
And I don't necessarily want him to. At this point, I think that many of the users with a lot of followers deserve them. People use Hubski because it juggles thoughtful conversation and socialization tactfully. There is an emphasis on information. Most, if not all, of the users with high follower numbers here currently embrace that, and if their posts are thought-provoking, why shouldn't they have an audience?
My point is that follower counts have no purpose here. If Hubski is about intelligent back-and-forth, it doesn't matter that a user has 10 or 2000 followers-- the concern should be on the content they're putting out there.
Let me go into a 'without follower counts' thought experiment/hypothetical. In this scenario, let's say kleinbl00 was a lolcat spammer on Reddit. When he made the public switch to Hubski, a country full of lolcat-loving Redditors joined Hubski too, and followed kleinb00, since they love his lolcats so much. They leave the next day, because they find that kleinbl00 is the only good lolcats guy at Hubski, and the rest of the users don't really like memes. In this scenario, due to the lack of lolcats, kleinbl00's perceived clout is nonexistent. New users are not compelled to follow him based on anything but his posts. It's hypothetical, but I feel as though, if a user sees a profile full of memes at odds with what's on the top global page and general feel of the website, they're less likely to follow that user than if the same profile has a high follower count-- leading them to believe that that sort of thing is popular here at Hubski.
edits: sentence structure, wording.
Here's an idea: why don't we take away the incentive to be a power user? I think that it is counterproductive that when I click on someone's profile, one of the first things I see is how many people are following their content. Who cares? It only serves to reinforce that group mentality that's so rabid on other aggregate websites. When new users see someone with 1000 followers, they say 'this person must post interesting content. I have no idea where to begin, I might as well follow the power user!'. This is a big negative. Users should be following people based on the merits of posts they've experienced first-hand. IMO, if Hubski is going to be about the conversation, we have to take away the incentive for knee-jerk, follow-the-leader behavior. The best way to do this is to quantify merit on a post-by-post basis. I'm not saying to do away with followers, just don't make the number of followers public.
Some constructive advice: instead of showing followers, and perhaps even instead of showing all of the links submitted outright, I think that the links of articles a user has posted in should be displayed, followed by a 1st tier comment by the user. This will truly encourage conversation, and give anyone scoping out their profile an idea of whether or not they will enjoy the content that's the user is pedaling. I would do links in a drop-down/expandable text.
No, not often. Now that I think about it, though, I have been disappointed by their registration requirements before. spoiler: you have to pay for it.