Before standing for the Democratic nomination in a NY congressional race, Patrick Ryan was in business spying on union organizers and left-wing activists

Before standing for the Democratic nomination in a NY congressional race, Patrick Ryan was in business spying on union organizers and left-wing activists

Patrick Ryan wants to be the Democratic nominee for New York’s 19th district in the Hudson Valley, a Republican seat that Dems hope to flip; he’s gone on record stating that he can do the job because of his entrepreneurial success — but he didn’t mention that he built his career at Berico Technologies by pitching a product to help businesses spy on union organizers and left-wing activists, a plan that included spying on left-wing Democrats and planting fake documents in order to discredit labor unions. (more…)Read full story

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It could happen here: How China’s social credit system demonstrates the future of social control in smart cities

It could happen here: How China’s social credit system demonstrates the future of social control in smart cities

Adam Greenfield (previously) is one of the best thinkers when it comes to the social consequences of ubiquitous computing and smart cities; he’s the latest contributor Ian Bogost’s special series on “smart cities” for The Atlantic (previously: Bruce Sterling, Molly Sauter). (more…)Read full story

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Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks’s Culture novels

Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks’s Culture novels

The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, leisure, and artistic pursuits, populated by AIs, city-sized space cruisers, spy networks, and weird bureaucracies. (more…)Read full story

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Astronauts share their experiences seeing Earth from space

Astronauts share their experiences seeing Earth from space

What’s it really like to gaze at Earth from space? Does an offworld view of the Pale Blue Dot shift your perspective forever? For the cover story in the new issue of National Geographic, talented science writer Nadia Drake talks to astronauts about how the rarified experience of seeing our planet from space changed them forever. “You’ve got this planet beneath you, and a lot of what you see, especially during the day, does not necessarily point to a human presence,” Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti told Drake. “If you look…

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Astronauts share their experiences seeing Earth from space

Astronauts share their experiences seeing Earth from space

What’s it really like to gaze at Earth from space? Does an offworld view of the Pale Blue Dot shift your perspective forever? For the cover story in the new issue of National Geographic, talented science writer Nadia Drake talks to astronauts about how the rarified experience of seeing our planet from space changed them forever. “You’ve got this planet beneath you, and a lot of what you see, especially during the day, does not necessarily point to a human presence,” Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti told Drake. “If you look…

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Some free short stories from Soviet-era science fiction author Anatoly Dneprov

Some free short stories from Soviet-era science fiction author Anatoly Dneprov

This week I found several stories by Anatoly Dneprov, shared free on the series of tubes we call the internet. Anatoly Dneprov, a science teacher, wrote wonderful, fast-paced, and oh-so very representative of Russian’s science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s. Not only does Dneprov masterfully communicate the headspace of living in a dystopic society, but his ideas about self-replicating machines, 3D printing and number of other things-to-come are eerie to the point of disbelief. The Purple Mummy is a fantastic story about first contact coming from someplace completely unexpected….

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