Alan Alda on Free Will and Science

Hawkeye Pierce gets it. In this interview with Robert Sapolsky from Stanford, they talk about the illusion of free will.

This interview is pretty good too.

Tagged

What If Australia Was Palestine?

If Australia Was Palestine

 

How would you, as an Australian, feel if the majority of the non-Jewish Australian population had been forced by a superior military (supported by the United States) into the green zones on the right image over the last 50 years, with 75% of the white zone being occupied by Jewish settlers? What kind of response would you get from most Australians? Would you sit back and accept it? Or would you fight back with whatever tools you have available to you?
Palestinian Loss Of Land 1947 to Present

source: http://www.palestineinformation.org/2b_disappearing_4_maps

Tagged ,

The Hypocrisy Over MH17 Is Killing Me

The outrage over the suggestion that Russia might have provided or sold the rocket launcher that downed MH17 and killed 300 civilians is such a joke when the annual total of civilians deaths from small arms sales by the permanent members of the UNSC makes that 300 look like a blip.

My data is a little out of date, but I’m sure nothing much has changed. Here are some facts for you to consider.

1. Some 300,000 to half a million people around the world are killed by them each year. (globalissues.org 2006)

2. World military expenditure in 2012 is estimated to have reached $1.756 trillion. (globalissues.org 2012)

3. The 5 UN Security Council permanent members are generally the largest arms dealers. (globalissues.org 2013)

4. The USA is responsible for 44% of arms sales. (globalissues.org 2013)

global arms sales by country

5. Therefore, if there are between 300K – 500K people killed by small arms every year, and the USA is responsible for 44% of  arms sales, then we can assume that the USA is responsible for somewhere in the region of 176,000 deaths every year.

Remember this the next time you hear Obama or Abbott decrying Putin.

Tagged ,

Using Evernote To Review Your Kindle Book Highlights

If you’re like me, you read a lot of books on your iPad and make lots of notes. Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to use Evernote to review those notes on a regular basis?

Here’s the method I’ve been using for grabbing Kindle notes. If you tend to read in iBooks, check out the Digested app.

1. Go to your Kindle Highlights page.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 8.08.36 am

2. Click on the book you want to review in Evernote.

Screenshot_17_07_2014_8_09_am

 

3. Then click the “You Have XX Highlighted passages” link.

Amazon_Kindle__Free_Will_and_Evernote_Premium_and_Skype

4. Click the Evernote Web Clipper in your browser. That will being up the clip menu. I save all of my book highlights to a Notebook. You can also use tags if you prefer to organise your notes that way.

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 8.08.46 am

You will end up with all of your notes available to quickly review in Evernote.  If you’ve got a lot of books in Kindle, this might take a while. But if you then continue to do this after you finish a new book, it only takes a minute.

Amaze your friends at parties with your ability to quickly pull up pertinent points for a debate!

Tagged

Australia – The Outlaw Nation

According to the SMH, the Abbott Federal Government’s position on sending asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka is against the law.

Australian international law experts have uniformly condemned Australia’s return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka as a violation of international law that risks sending vulnerable people back to persecution and torture.

 

So how could this happen? How does a government break the law? As far as I can tell, there are only a few reasonable explanations.

1. They are completely inept.

2. They aren’t inept but don’t have any lawyers on staff to advise them about such actions, nor did they consult an external law firm.

3. They knew they were breaking the law – but didn’t care.

As much as I suspect our Prime Minister is a complete dickhead, I don’t think he or his team are completely inept or stupid, so the only reasonable explanation is option 3 – they knew they were breaking the law but didn’t care.

This leads me to wonder what the implications are when the government deliberately and knowingly breaks the law – does it mean that the concept of “law” is now invalid for the rest of us? Do we live in a lawless land? Are we an outlaw nation? If the government that is there to create laws willingly snubs its nose at the law, doesn’t this somehow mean the whole system of law is now void?

How can a government simultaneously insist that the population obeys the laws of the nation while it willfully breaks international law?

 

leunig

Heritage Corporate

About 21 or 22 years ago, Michael and I worked together in the financial services industry. We started on the same day, working for a company that has long since disappeared. It was the first sales role either of us ever had. Our manager was completely insane and the two guys that owned the company were pretty dodgy. So after about a year, Michael quit and took a job working for a guy called Rupert (not *that* Rupert). These days Mike runs the business – Heritage Corporate. They do Buy & Sell side advisory – a boutique firm that specialised in buying and selling transport businesses. We just re-built their website. It’s great to see old friends go from success to success although I can’t imagine working in the one business for twenty years. I think in that same time I’ve probably had ten different jobs.

heritage corporate

Is Evernote Selling My Data?

Is Evernote being evil? Or is Meko just really clever? Or is it just a strange coincidence?

Here’s my story.

A couple of weeks ago, my lovely wife brought me home a can of Meko coconut water. It’s really great stuff. Like… seriously. I had a foodgasm.

meko evernote evil

A week later I was in the supermarket and wanted to buy more. But I couldn’t remember what brand it was. Nothing in the coconut water section looked familiar, so I bought one can of two separate brands – neither was Meko. Both tasted AWFUL.

The next day, my lovely wife bought me another can of Meko. This time I snapped a picture of it into Evernote so I’d remember the next time I was doing the shopping.

A couple of days later, I’m in Facebook and I am presented with an ad for the Meko Facebook group.

meko facebook ad

Coincidence? Or did Evernote let Meko know that I snapped a photo of their product?

I brought up this issue this morning on Laurel Papworth’s hangout, and a few of the viewers pointed me to Evernote’s privacy policy.

It states (in part):

Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?
Evernote is not in the business of selling or renting user information, and we only disclose information when:

  • We have your explicit consent to share the information.

  • We need to share your information with service providers who process data on our behalf in order to operate the Service and/or complete your payment transactions; and these providers are subject to strict data protection requirements.

  • We need to share your information with service providers to fulfill your product or service requests, including sales, delivery and support for certain products from the Evernote Market.

  • We need to share your information with resellers of a Premium Service or product in order to ensure accuracy in the payment for such Premium Service or product, the management of your account and the delivery of your purchase and related support services.

  • We believe it is necessary to investigate potential violations of our Terms of Service, to enforce those Terms of Service, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud or potential threats against persons, property or the systems on which we operate the Service.

  • We determine that the access, preservation or disclosure of information is required or permitted by law to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and users of the Service, or is required to comply with applicable laws, including compliance with warrants, court orders or other legal process.

  • We do so in connection with the sale or reorganization of all or part of our business, as permitted by applicable law.

So I don’t think they have a policy of sharing the content of my notes with advertisers.

Was this all a coincidence? Or am I Meko’s target audience? Did their Facebook targeting work?

I’m a 43 year-old cigar-smoking father of three. I doubt I’m their target audience. Now, if it was my little sister (okay, she’s 35, but she’s still little IMHO) who does yoga, works for a circus and lives in Byron Bay – sure. She’s the target. Me? Not so much.

I live in Evernote. It’s perhaps my favourite technology brand (or competes for number one with Apple). I’m an (unoffficial) Evernote evangelist and have been since I started using it in 2008. I’ve got ~10,000 notes in it. I’d be very upset and concerned if they are being evil.

Laurel’s opinion seemed to be that I’m just naïve if I don’t think they are selling my data.

What do you think?

Under-rated Alice Cooper classic from 1983.



Under-rated Alice Cooper classic from 1983.

via Tumblr http://ift.tt/1lNib2V

Tagged ,

The other KFC (Kentucky Fried Cigars). / on Instagram…



The other KFC (Kentucky Fried Cigars). / on Instagram http://ift.tt/SSjcju

via Tumblr http://ift.tt/1lRVzmN

Tagged ,

Olive oil or perfume? At $150 a bottle I hope I can drink it…



Olive oil or perfume? At $150 a bottle I hope I can drink it too. / on Instagram http://ift.tt/1n70EUI

via Tumblr http://ift.tt/1i3yH3P

Tagged ,