Monday, March 23, 2020

From Tracing to Preemption

There are a number of application (app) assisted contact-tracing projects currently being developed in response to Covid-19. Their objective is to notify persons who may have been infected as quickly as possible so they can be tested or take other precautionary measures. However, with a proper information security architecture, it is possible to notify persons that they may be coming in contact with an infectious individual. This allows the person to preempt the contact or take precautions, such as wearing a mask.

This publication introduced the information security architecture needed for Virus Radar:
Stodolsky, D. S. (1997). Automation of Contagion Vigilance. Methods of Information in Medicine, 36(3), 220-232.

This study showed acceptability of the approach and how it could be extended to location associated risks (contaminated surfaces, etc.):

Stodolsky, D. S. & Zaharia, C. N. (2009). Acceptance of Virus Radar. The European Journal of ePractice, 8, 77-93.

There are two things that are needed for Virus Radar to function. First, the infectious agent must be tracked. In the simplest case, when two phones come within a couple meters of each other they exchange information in order to record a risky contact. However, a risky contact can be preempted, if a person’s phone can’t present a digital health certificate. Failure to present a certificate can occur for many reasons, so the risk of stigmatization is avoided.

Second, if a person can’t present a health certificate, they can avoid potential ostracism by getting tested or resolving malfunction of the Virus Radar application or of their phone. New health certificates are delivered to all users on a daily basis, so information about the extent of infection is always current. This information can be updated rapidly, because those suspected of being newly infected report for testing upon not receiving a fresh certificate.

An advantage of this approach is that it uses peer pressure to accelerate adoption of the app. If comprehensive coverage can be achieved, then it becomes possible to rapidly unroll the infection chains and prevent all likely infected persons from contact with the at-risk population. Both contact tracing and motivating of persons to be tested results from peer influence. Professionals can focus upon testing of persons who come for assistance. 

It appears that TraceTogether can be extended to include a “MeetSecure” capability.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Two mass killings a world apart share a common theme

Eco-Fascism: the Racist Theory That Inspired the El Paso and Christchurch Shooters

Both believed immigrants were destroying the environment, a racist trope that's gaining steam among white nationalists.

The El Paso shooter, who killed 22, claimed in his manifesto that the “decimation of the environment” through “urban sprawl” was endangering future generations in the U.S — and that immigrants, encouraged by corporations, were responsible. He said the way to protect the environment was “to decrease the number of people in America.” The Christchurch shooter, an Australian national, labelled himself an “eco-fascist” in his own manifesto, which he defined as “ethnic autonomy for all peoples with a focus on preservation of nature and the natural order.”

White nationalist organizer Richard Spencer published a manifesto one day prior to the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, August 2017, in which he also expressed eco-fascist ideas. “We have the potential to become nature’s steward or its destroyer,” Spencer wrote. “The natural world — and our experience of it — is an end in itself.”

“Climate change — and the prospect of ‘scarce’ resources that comes attached to it — is just fodder to a far-right that feeds on fear of the outside.”

David Adler, policy director of Democracy in Europe Movement, a transnational progressive party, who has written about environmental policy, says that the fringe subculture has been gaining ground in Europe, where there’s been a resurgence of far-right anti-immigrant groups’ efforts to win over environmentalists.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Gangsters are at the top of Danish society: Would you like to see what lies, corruption, and scams look like?

Would you like to see what lies, corruption, and scams look like? So watch this recording, where SKAT (Danish Tax Authority) is lying blatantly and has made secret deals with corrupt and criminal people who have committed tax fraud for billions. It is the biggest scam in Danish history and SKAT's answer is: "the amount is subordinate and we have no further comments", and does not answer any more questions, while they slink away from the press conference - so easily one can hide and close a case, and therefore see freedom and democracy in the name of liberalism. The real gangs and gangsters are not in the so-called "ghetto" areas, but they are at the top of Danish society, and work in the tax administration, the police, the banks, and the parliament. It seems that George Orwell got right - big time.

Vil du gerne se hvordan løgn, korruption og svindel ser ud? Så se med på denne optagelse, hvor SKAT lyver helt åbenlys og har lavet hemmelige aftaler med korrupte og kriminelle folk som har begået skattesvindel for milliarder. Det er danmarkshistoriens største svindelsag og SKAT’s svar er: “beløbet er underordnet og vi har ingen yderligere kommentarer”, og svarer ikke på flere spørgsmål, mens de stikker kujonagtigt af fra pressemødet - så nemt kan man mørklægge og lukke en sag, og således ser frihed og demokrati ud i liberalismens navn.  De rigtige bander og gangsters er ikke i de såkaldte “ghetto”-områder, men de findes i toppen af det danske samfund, og arbejder i skattestyrelsen, politiet, bankerne og i folketinget. Det siger ud til at George Orwell fik ret - big time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Postmodernism opens the door to fascism

I am moving the below here, because Google Plus is shutting down shortly. I was going to let it go off-line, but those mentioned have renewed their effort to exclude any alternative views (see first three comments):

The easiest way to understand the current situation is the dominance of lifestyle anarchism in Copenhagen. The lack of a social anarchist alternative has opened the way for fascism:

So, we have people playing at being anarchists, while the underlying social process is fascist:

I have seen this in other groups on the extreme left in Denmark. I got this reply to my above analysis and the comments:
People were kicked out of Bumzen citing false reasons. It was a coup from so called antifa people. They are not anarchists. They use violence and hidden strategies to protect their power and property. There is no justice structures to solve conflicts, so this is pure strength and intimidation. Don't look for justice. I would recommend you to avoid them and find real people sharing your values. Copenhagen is fucked.


14 Feb. 2016:

I am sorry to report that when I stated that “Postmodernism opens the door to fascism and can’t close it again,” the organizer of a new Anarchist Reading and Discussion Group replied that we would, “Have to agree to disagree” on the status of postmodern social constructionism. My statement was the last line of this review:

The Sokal Hoax had earlier unmasked the fraud perpetrated by the editors of the leading social constructionist journal, Social Text:

Readers may find it hard to believe that anarchists in Denmark are influenced by fascist ideology. However, censorship appears to be common among those calling themselves anarchists and libertarian socialists. The earlier Occupy Copenhagen anarchist movement was undermined by a participant who appointed himself king of the Internet:

The progressive/left newspaper, Informationen, had reported on the Sokal Hoax as a philosophic dispute, when it actually exposed fraudulent misrepresentation. Many academics were educated in social constructionist theorizing when that fad was at its hight and it appears that the effects are still clearly visible. A number of academic institutions were taken over by social constructionists at that time and continue to promote the ideology. One stronghold is the Copenhagen Business School’s Institut for Organisation. Other institutes there have social constructionists, and they are well represented at ITU and SDU.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Arbitrary censorship also appears to be taking place on "take the square"

The following post led to me being unsubscribed without warning from the "takethesquare" mail list. That list also appears to be having technical issues, when trying to access the list webserver page. 

Arbitrary censorship also appears to be taking place on the "take the square" Facebook page.
This characterization appears to no longer apply:



Re: [Squares] Climate Alarm Global Protest in december 8


Diminishing solar activity may bring new Ice Age by 2030

False bad news about population growth, natural resources, and the environment


On 30 Oct 2018, at 02:48, wrote:

I think this protest can be a good training for what is being prepared for
2020, making use of the big wave from france, belgium and some other
countries in Europe and in the world actually really mobilized for the
climate. San Francisco is also a good exemple and the US networks is ready
for something bigger. The organization in france is very huge but also
very interesting because we are not just talking about a march and i think
that we can bring some really good ideas to the international climate

Thanks Niel!

I'll add that around the previous week, just before the COP24, there are a
set of decentralized actions planned by some ogranizations from (and local ones) against the usage of coal, at
least in Spain. No one published anything at this moment, it's still work
in progress.

El lun., 29 oct. 2018 a las 18:27, <> escribió:

A proposition of international protest from France after the big succes
the march for the climate in september 8 (more than 130 000 people) and
october 13:

Ong's, citizen organizations and political parties in France and Europe
are supporting this growing movement who had to become international to
have an impact on politics and are calling for a globalization of the
protest in december during the next global negociations, the COP24, who
will probably result as a big political deception for everybody. We are
working on the prolongation of the protest to make it permanent

Monday, October 8, 2018

Summary for Policymakers:

“• Fossil fuels deliver affordable, plentiful, and reliable energy that is closely associated with key measures of human development and human welfare. There is a strong positive relationship between low energy prices and economic prosperity. Economic prosperity in turn is crucial to human health and welfare. Wind and solar power are incapable of delivering the affordable, plentiful, and reliable energy that is delivered by fossil fuels.

“• Fossil fuels require the development of substantially less surface area than renewable energy sources, rescuing precious wildlife habitat from development. The power density of fossil fuels enables humanity to meet its need for energy, food, and natural resources while using less surface space, rescuing precious wildlife habitat from development. In 2010, fossil fuels utilized roughly the same surface area as devoted to renewable energy sources yet delivered 110 times as much power.

“• The environmental and human welfare impacts of fossil fuels are overwhelmingly positive. Sixteen of 25 identified impacts of fossil fuels are net positive. Eight are uncertain, only one is net negative. Some of the identified impacts include agriculture, air quality, extreme weather events, human health, and human mortality.

“• Reducing fossil fuel use to achieve dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would inflict tremendous economic hardship. Reducing greenhouse gases to 90 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 would require a 96% reduction in world GDP, reducing per-capita GDP to $1,200 from $30,600 now forecast. Per-capita income would be at about the level it was in the United States and Western Europe in about 1820 or 1830, before the Industrial Revolution.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Folly and privilege of the Transhumanist movement

"The Misguided Idiot’s Quest for Immortality: A diatribe on the folly and privilege of the Transhumanist movement" is a recent article by Alex Perlman in the magazine Future Human. She states "nothing has raised my hackles as much as this movement’s quest for immortality and the ignorance of the inherent inequality of the discussion around that idea... It is irresponsible, if not actively harmful, to pursue radical life extension as a serious goal, while so many Americans fear that they won’t be able to make [it] through the next few years."

This criticism was dismissed as "journalistic idiocy," and "bio-luddism." However, the author states,
"I very much agree with ... self-experimentation and morphological freedom, and I enjoy investigating the ethical challenges associated with using scientific knowledge to enhance the limits of the human body." I commented on G+, "The author is an ethics researcher and a transhumanist. It isn't from someone who is "not able to visualize the bounty of future possibilities and progress." It is a warning that transhumanism/cryonics in the USA is on a path of self-destruction. One key failure is the lack of insight into the long-term political dynamics that will bring transhumanism/cryonics in the USA into direct confrontation with the mainstream culture.

A recent book To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell offers a similar critique. The reviewer comments, "O’Connell is a highly sceptical observer, sometimes horrified and often amused, but offers reminders that this is not a simple tale of eccentrics and the freaky fringe. Some very rich and influential people dabble in aspects of transhumanism, and his series of reports, taken together, provide a commentary on the (at times) sinister and (always) hubristic faith in technology radiating outwards from Silicon Valley."

The censorship and other attempts at "controlling the message" about cryonics is now backfiring. The pioneers of the transhumanist/cryonics movement have shown they are incapable of adjusting to the challenge of exponential growth and the need to become a mass movement. Unfortunately, the undemocratic structures in the movement make it extremely difficult to dislodge the fanatics, who at this point are promoting their own death by ignoring social and organizational dynamics. I discuss some of these issues in The Growth and Decline of Cryonics.

Transhumanism/cryonics is mostly dominated by those supporting neo-liberalism and libertarianism (as defined in the USA). As I point out in my above publication, the effect of neo-liberalism has been a stagnation in wages for the majority. An important predictor of enrollment in a cryonics suspension program is wealth: “Individuals making more than $100,000 were generally more favorably disposed toward cryonics (Badger, 1998).” We can conclude from this that the macro-economic preferences of many of those in the movement are suppressing the growth of cryonics. Many of these people see the Scottish economist Adam Smith as their intellectual father. However, this is a flawed understanding of his actual teachingsLibertarianism is even more philosophically at odds with its own roots with its worship of the "free market." 

In his video Transhumanism and Immortality, Isaac Arthur comments on how difficult it is to distinguish between science and hype when investigating this topic. He is a competent commentator on future-oriented science and technology, and considers himself to be a transhumanist. So, this should be considered to be a positive view of the state of transhumanism. Expecting the public to take transhumanism seriously is unrealistic under these circumstances.

A solution could be a comprehensive critique of the underlying philosophical positions within transhumanism. As Jones has demonstrated, unrealistic views of technology make it impossible to take transhumanism seriously. A firm grounding in accepted science combined with a peer-reviewed publication of a high scientific standard appears to be essential to escape the perception of transhumanism as a "freaky fringe" science or new-age religion.