For starters, the Taliban don't have to win, just persevere. The US will not be in Afghanistan forever so just showing up is enough. Afghanistan is a huge country, inhospitable to occupiers as seen throughout history via defeats placed on Alexander the Great, the British and the Russians. Now it's our turn and Obama and the military just don't get it. To top it off, we are contemplating negotiating with the Taliban while trying to root out e-Qaeda, the terrorist organization which may or not be even a force in this war torn nation and who may be supporting the Taliban, the erstwhile enemy/collaborator? that we may or may not be fighting against in Afghanistan as both organizations consist of fanatical Sunni Muslim operatives. Note: We haven't even discussed the corrupt US backed Karzi government which is distrusted by a large segment of Afghans, a situation eerily reminiscent of the distrusted South Vietnam government backed by the US during the Vietnam war. Note II: We won't discuss the economic impact either as the defense budget already is almost 700 billion this year and counting while the US shuffles toward bankruptcy and Wall Street takes in 13 trillion of tax payer money. Same as it ever was - Talking Heads. Alice in Wonderland has nothing on this hall of mirrors which includes the ongoing undeclared war with Pakistan designed to 1. minimize the influence of the Taliban in that nation while negotiating with the same entity in Afghanistan and 2, destroy e-Qaeda base camps located in the hinterlands of West Pakistan through the use of remote control Predator Drone attacks that often kill innocent civilians in the process. Makes sense doesn't it?
Bill Moyers' seminal piece Johnson's Escalation of Vietnam: A Timeline, says it all but maybe Obama doesn't see or realize the fact that "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."- Sir Winston Churchill
Bill Moyers, a national treasure, does it again by looking back at US policy in the 60's regarding Southeast Asia titled Johnson's Escalation of Vietnam: A Timeline, something eerily akin to what Obama is doing regarding Afghanistan. Read Danny Schecter's perceptive article titled Bill Moyers' Message to Obama: Study History or Repeat its Mistakes to see why,
The tragedy of 'Nam was not only the needless deaths it caused but also how it crippled the funding of Johnson's Great Society initiative intended to change America for the better by instituting innovative programs to effectively deal with the problems of racism, poverty, education and health care in the same can do attitude as that of FDR during the Great Depression.
Copyright in the UK will resemble the dictatorial government V fought against in the V for Vendetta film as this effort to control information can be the start point for dictatorship in England. At the very least, the UK will lose big time in terms of the web because no one will want to do business in a place where surveillance is king and power goes to the unelected. Sounds like 1984and the Thought Police doesn't it?
The dark side of the Darknet beckons if the Brits actually attempt to control the flow of information by doing something as stupid and scurrilous as this. If people let this happen, V's speech regarding the loss of freedom could come to pass.
Every once in a while an article comes out that answers a question I have had in my mind for years. The question: How can insects think with such power when their brain size is miniscule at best? Now I know thanks to a post on Current Biology titled Are Bigger Brains Better?
Kinda looks like the end scene of the Matrix Reloaded flick (The 2 sequels pale in comparison to the first film but the CG's cool.) where Neo confronts the Architect of the Matrix only to discover he is "The One No. 7", a pawn intended to be used as an agent of deception "to save mankind" in order for the Matrix, a quantum system of unimaginable power, to continue using humanity as prime energy source without interruption or interference. (This is the best part of the movie IMHO.)
Needless to say, we are not there yet in terms of quantum computing and artificial intelligence but we now are seeing, for the first time, a viable emergence of the semantic web in the form of the MESH project, (Multimedia Semantic Syndication for Enhanced News Services) the first search engine capable of using the Media Merge (video, text, images & sound) to enable machines to locate content in ways beyond the present day (dumb) search environments of Google and Bing. (No doubt, both are looking into semantics in a very big way.)
BRT talked about this from the perspective of OWL and RDF in The Semanatic Web Cometh, a piece discussing how formats and data transparency combined with the aforementioned languages presages an age of computers accessing data as easily as us. Now, the MESH Project is moving this tech into a reality space we are accustomed to, the world of multimedia connected to high end presentation.
In an earlier articled titled Predator Tech, BRT discussed the potential of invisibility cloaks and how it was becoming science fact and not science fiction. One big problem regarding how this technology would work centered on the question of what would a cloaked object look like. In the past, there was no way of "seeing" this effect but this inconvenient constraint no longer applies.
What's interesting about this research is the fact Ray Tracing is the imaging engine used in this software, a technique originally invented by the MAGI corporation in Elmsford NY to track the rays given off by a nuclear explosion. (I learned CG there as Phil Mittleman, a true visionary & CEO of the company, had a very big influence on me regarding tech, fine art and design.)
Note: TRON was the first graphic example of what could be created using Ray Tracing as this imagining technique, combined with Radiosity, is considered to be the most accurate way to depict reality.
Click here to get the PDF detailing this research. It's a good read for sure.
Walking is controlled falling. We shift our balance from side to side and the body responds using complex muscle control, sophisticated kinetic feedback and real time recursion to make it happen. Scientists are now starting to develop tech able to harvest energy from non linear motion sources like walking, wind and tidal currents. Pretty cool approach to the energy crisis to say the least.