Heard author Eric Schlosser at the entirely fitting National Museum of Nuclear Science & History last evening. Schlosser’s Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety was published September 17th.
It was an informative, sobering talk with balanced doses of anecdotal history, criticism, praise and rant. Human beings create these devices and weapons systems. They are not perfect, the improbable happens, the result could be beyond our imaging.
Looking forward to reading my inscribed copy of the book.
Schlosser is the author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness.
“Because what I really believe is, Let’s spend a little more time leaving everybody alone. These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”
Clint Eastwood quoted in GQ interview
“This is an industry that demands payment from summer camps if the kids sing Happy Birthday or God Bless America, an industry that issues takedown notices for a 29 second home movie of a toddler dancing to Prince. Traditional American media firms are implacably opposed to any increase in citizens’ ability to create, copy, save, alter, or share media on our own. They fought against cassette audio tapes, and photocopiers. They swore the VCR would destroy Hollywood. They tried to kill Tivo. They tried to kill MiniDisc. They tried to kill player pianos. They do this whenever a technology increases user freedom over media. Every time. Every single time.”
From a piece by Clay Shirky.
As Shirky says, there is a reasonable discussion to be had here. The problem with SOPA/PIPA isn’t that the bills attempt to limit the unauthorized use of copyrighted material. The problem is that they are entertainment industry written and sponsored legislation ($100 million in lobbying) that give the industry vigilante rights.
… what we might do in a crisis, but the captain of the Costa Concordia takes irresponsibility to new heights.
Click and listen to the exchange. It’ll leave you shaking your head.
BBC News – Recording of coastguard telling captain to ‘get on board’
“On January 18, 2012, in an unprecedented decision, the Wikipedia community has chosen to blackout the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours, in protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.”
Press releases/English Wikipedia to go dark – Wikimedia Foundation
NewMexiKen intends to go dark for 12 hours January 18th to protest SOPA/PIPA.
To clarify, we are opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R. 3261, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), Senate Bill S.968.
We are not opposed to sopapillas or Pippa Middleton.
Pippa (Philippa) Middleton
“When you have a President encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 per cent versus one percent—and those people who have been most successful will be in the one per cent—you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God.”
Willard M. Romney on the Today show this morning.
So, if you are not in the one percent you are, according to Romney, not among the “most successful”?
Money = Success
“[I]n the debate Saturday night, Romney went beyond mere opposition to Roe. He said he thought Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that first made explicit the right to privacy, was also wrong. ‘I don’t believe they decided that correctly,’ Romney said.”
From a report on the Republicans and privacy by Jeffrey Toobin.
Griswold was the case that prevents states from prohibiting the sale of birth control products. It is more fundamental than Roe v. Wade.
“Americans are much more likely than citizens of other nations to believe that they live in a meritocracy. But this self-image is a fantasy…”
Paul Krugman, America’s Unlevel Field
President Harry S. Truman, in his 1949 State of the Union Address:
We must spare no effort to raise the general level of health in this country. In a nation as rich as ours, it is a shocking fact that tens of millions lack adequate medical care. We are short of doctors, hospitals, nurses. We must remedy these shortages. Moreover, we need–and we must have without further delay–a system of prepaid medical insurance which will enable every American to afford good medical care.