Republican Science

Is there any single area of innovation that, if we got it right, might save us? “The basic answer is no,” says Gates. The scale of the threat is so all-encompassing, so demanding of radical changes to transport, buildings, industry, land use and political will, that “there is no single breakthrough that can solve all those things”. Bill Gates: ‘Carbon neutrality in a decade is a fairytale. Why peddle fantasies?’

A Robot Wrote This Book Review (11/21/2021) NYT

National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (3/2021) 756 page pdf

Nanorobotics: what it is, what it can do, and how it can become reality (5/8/2021)

A Case for Cooperation Between Machines and Humans (5/21/2020)

Daniel Susskind: ‘Automation of jobs is one of the greatest questions of our time’ (1/18/2020)

Democrats, Avoid the Robot Rabbit Hole (10/17/2019)

Knight invests $50 million to develop new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy (7/22/2019)

Elon Musk still thinks a Mars colony will save us from a future dark age (3/11/2018)

Chelsea Manning: ‘Software developers should have a code of ethics’ (3/13/2018)

Trump administration wants to end NASA funding for the International Space Station by 2025 (1/24/2018)

This is what work will look like by 2030 (1/10/2018)

Who and What Will AI Serve? US and China Give Very Different Answers (1/12/2018)

iPhone Security Problems: Camera Permissions Allow Apps To Secretly Take Photos, Videos (10/26/2017)

"A study by Citibank and researchers from Oxford University released last January, concluded that 47% of jobs in America are at risk of being replaced by robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI), while across the OECD an average of 57% of jobs are threatened. In China, the menace soars to 77%." THE AWESOME THREAT YOU WON'T HEAR ABOUT IN THE U.S. CAMPAIGN (5/5/2017)

"In our lifetimes, we may be able to perform all of the operations of manufacturing and mining with one-quarter of the human effort with which we have become accustomed. For the moment, the very rapidity of these changes is hurting us and bringing us difficult new problems to solve. We are being afflicted by a new disease, namely technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means to economize the use of labor outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses of labor." John Maynard Keynes Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren (1930)

In the future, the metric system is likely to prevail as the one and only measurement system used throughout the world, and so those who do not use it or continue to use non-metric units will be left behind the global economy." Think Metric

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"... an autonomous system displays traits of self-repair, self-defence, self-maintenance, self-control and self-improvement. No current system has all these properties ... but many technologies exhibit some of them. Aeroplane drones can self-steer and stay aloft for hours, for instance, but cannot repair themselves. Communication networks can repair themselves but cannot self-reproduce. Computer viruses can self-reproduce but cannot improve themselves. As technologies multiply and become more adaptive, the technium is becoming increasingly autonomous." From a review of Kevin Kelly's book What Technology Wants.

Technological change, in short, falls flat as either a causal or cross-national explanation for American inequality. Indeed, as Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez concluded recently, the very fact that wealthy nations with essentially similar histories of technological change show such divergent patterns of inequality suggest that institutional and policy differences—and not the underlying technological change—are the key. In this sense, the magnitude or pace of labor’s displacement is less important than the fact that, as Peter Frase notes, such displacement is now occurring “without many of the countervailing protections that labor enjoyed in the heyday of the postwar Keynesian compromise.” In the United States, those differences—or those lost protections—are now pretty familiar: a long decline in union density and bargaining power, the retreat of basic labor standards and their enforcement, a fiscal policy that accommodates spells of high unemployment out of an irrational fear of inflation, and the evaporation of fiscal or regulatory restraint on incomes at the very top. The robots and computers had little to do with it. Colin Gorden Dissent Spring 2014

"Almost a third of ordinary Americans say human beings have existed in their current form since the beginning of time, a view held by only 2 percent of the scientists. Only about half of the public agrees that people are behind climate fact, there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution and there is little doubt that human activity is altering the chemistry of the atmosphere in ways that threaten global change." New York Times reporting on a survey comparing public opinion to that of scientists.. 7/18/2009 pg A17

Bank of England’s Andy Haldane warns Smart machines could take 15 million UK jobs and 80 million in the US (11/12/2015)

Intelligent Machines: The jobs robots will steal first (9/14/2015)

Musk, Wozniak and Hawking urge ban on warfare AI and autonomous weapons (7/27/2015)

The Robotification of Society is Coming (1/2015)

Microsoft’s Windows 10 has permission to watch your every move (10/04/2014)

Right-Wing Backlash Against 'Smartypants' Like Neil deGrasse Tyson (7/30/2014)

Digital Technology will kill jobs, Inflame social unrest says gartner (10/8/2013)

Why We should Choose Science Over Beliefs (9/24/2013)

Meet The GOP's Environment Leaders (7/26/2013)

Lamar Smith, GOP Push Politicization Of Scientific Research (4/29/2013)

House Science Panel Wears Blinders (1/9/2013)

Paul Broun, Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, is living proof of Republican's ignorance and total Lack of Judgement.

Restore the Office of Technology Assessment

Why The Anti-Science Creationist Movement Is So Dangerous (9/8/2011)

Republicans Against Science: Paul Krugman (8/29/2011)

Time For OTA (5/28/2010)
GOP Postmodernism Continues Apace (11/9/2011)

We know there is a race between humanity's survival possibilities and the advance of technology. In the shorter run, we also know that advancing technology costs jobs and creates huge numbers of surplus workers. That's a problem with the way we structure markets though. There's always plenty of work to do. When automation makes most work unnecessary, we should have a social safety net to match.

Not all Republicans are against science, but the religious Republican base denies the expanding universe, evolution, climate change, global warming, sustainability, etc. So does money-driven Republican leadership.

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia says, "All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell." The Earth, he says, is only "about 9,000 years old" and "was created in six days as we know them." Broun is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), the chairman of a House subcommittee on the environment, unlike 97 percent of scientists, denies climate change, so does Repblican leadership and Donald Trump.

When Republicans don't agree with evidence, they deny it: "austerity is always wise economic policy," "Tax cuts will pay for themselves," "They will greet us as liberators," "Legitimate rape will shut it down," "Climate change is a hoax," "Government is the problem."

After voting to cut the EPA, and end food stamps, they threatened to shut down the federal government unless Congress defunded Obamacare.

R's don't care if they crash the economy, shred the social safety net, wreck the environment, or cripple government.

Empowering them guarantees disaster.

When media talk about the decline in US education, they never talk about their complicity in the Republican war on Science.

Republican War on Science (video of a Chris Mooney speech)

Technology takes Jobs

Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book "People Get Ready" points out that accelerating technology can and will take over massive numbers of jobs. Combined with a global labor surplus and loosened trade policies, unemployment is certain to become a critical problem.

It didn't have to be that way. Mind-numbing, routine factory jobs can be done by machines so that people might have shorter working hours and improvement of quality of life. But no. Policy is driving the vast majority into debt servitude. Not much different than slavery.

Elevator operators were replaced, telephone operators automated, Kodak shrunk to a handful of employees, secretaries have declined with word processors and voice recognition, auto manufacturers make extensive use of robotics, and, soon, expect self-driving vehicles. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals will be assisted by really smart machines like Watson. The job market will change.

Corporations will need fewer employees. Most of the benefits of increased productivity go to capital (i.e. the top), so income inequality, if not addressed, will get more extreme. Better productivity should make everyone's life better with shorter working hours, better benefits, family leave, more vacations, and over all a higher quality of life. Policy driven by wealthy interests and a coin operated Congress made sure that wont happen.

The good news is: there is always plenty of work to do. A functioning economy would still make use of everyone willing to work, however we are far from having a well functioning economy. A shorter work week, livable minimum wage, sensible taxes, and a strong social safety net would improve our situation. Most likely there will be massive loss of jobs as a result of advancing technology.

Our media propagandists don't tell that story. Maybe they can't because considerable government activity is secret and can't stand the light of day.

Technology, assisted by corporate predators and government snoops, is fast taking people's privacy. Good government would counter this, but it is not on the horizon..

No improvement is possible unless we get over government obsession with expansion of the military. What we are seeing is crumbling infrastructure, decaying cities, social misery, weak democracy, and, thanks to Republicans, an unwillingness to fix any of it.

Our politicians lied to take us to wars, and that resulted in horrendous damage to life , resources, civilization, and the environment. War is profitable. There will be much more of it.

Should technology succeed in replacing middle class jobs, bear in mind that democracy cannot withstand the loss of the middle class.

Evolutiion (it applied to technology also.) See Kevin Kelly's book "What Technology Wants"

The Triple Revolution Report Revisited

Report of the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress (1966). Why aren't we doing this again ?

The Monkey Mind (short video) (News For Nerds)




Video Technology (magazine)

Red Herring

The challenge of Technology in a Democracy


ETC Group(mostly biotech)

'Censorship' changes the face of the net.

Start: Natural Language Question Answering System

Check out the notes on Free Software.


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AI-Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee

We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data, Curtis White

Will Democracy Survive Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Jeroen van den Hoven

The Inevitable, Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future: Kevin Kelly

People Get Ready, the Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy: Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols

Rise of the Robots, Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future: Martin Ford

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us: Nicholas Carr

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor' By Virginia Eubanks

Pinpoint: How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture and Our Minds: Greg Milner

Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development Transforming the Industrial State: Nicholas A. Ashford and Ralph P. Hall

The Island of Knowledge, the Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning: Mrcelo Gleiser

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science... and RealityChris Mooney

The Republican War on Science. Chris Mooney

Unscientific America, How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future: by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum

The Greatest Show on Earth, the Evidence for Evolution: Richard Dawkins (see Evolution)

Censoring Science: Inside the political attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming. Mark Bowen. See this.

Race against the Machine: Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

The Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy: Erik Brynjolfsson

Player Piano: Kurt Vonnegut

Dreams of a Final Theory: Steven Weinberg

The First Three Minutes: Steven Weinberg

A Matter of Degrees: Gino Segre'

Faust in Copenhagen: Gino Segre'

A Life Decoded: Craig Venter