Date: December 21, 2017
|– Atheist Media Links|
Date: December 20, 2017
Date: December 20, 2017
“In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jennifer Doudna about the gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9. They talk about the biology of gene editing, how specific tissues in the body can be targeted, the ethical implications of changing the human genome, the importance of curiosity-driven science, and other topics.
Jennifer A. Doudna is a professor in the Chemistry and the Molecular and Cell Biology Departments at the University of California, Berkeley, investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and researcher in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is internationally recognized as a leading expert on RNA-protein biochemistry, CRISPR biology, and genome engineering. She is the author (with Samuel Sternberg) of A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution.”
Date: December 19, 2017
“Inside the web of conspiracy theorists, Russian operatives, Trump campaigners and Twitter bots who manufactured the ‘news’ that Hillary Clinton ran a pizza-restaurant child-sex ring.
The revelations overcame Edgar Maddison Welch like a hallucinatory fever. On December 1st, 2016, the father of two from Salisbury, North Carolina, a man whose pastimes included playing Pictionary with his family, tried to persuade two friends to join a rescue mission. Alex Jones, the Info-Wars host, was reporting that Hillary Clinton was sexually abusing children in satanic rituals a few hundred miles north, in the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. Welch told his friends the “raid” on a “pedo ring” might require them to “sacrifice the lives of a few for the lives of many.” A friend texted, “Sounds like we r freeing some oppressed pizza from the hands of an evil pizza joint.” Welch was undeterred. Three days later, armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .38 handgun and a folding knife, he strolled into the restaurant and headed toward the back, where children were playing ping-pong. As waitstaff went table to table, whispering to customers to get out, Welch maneuvered into the restaurant’s kitchen. He shot open a lock and found cooking supplies. He whipped open another door and found an employee bringing in fresh pizza dough. Welch did not find any captive children – Comet Ping Pong does not even have a basement – but he did prove, if there were any lingering doubts after the election, that fake news has real consequences.
Alefantis thought he’d finally scored a victory when The New York Times published an article debunking Pizzagate. He learned what the Clinton campaign found out too late. As Harvard’s Benkler puts it, “The right-wing-media ecosystem had become so hyperpartisan, so self-referential and so superinsular it often simply ignored information that’s disconfirming.” Instead, right-wing social media referenced mainstream coverage as a way to “legitimate” their claims. On November 21st, the day the Times published its story, our sample shows Twitter traffic about Pizzagate hit unprecedented levels: some 120,000 tweets.”
Date: December 19, 2017
“NEW YORK (AP) – Twitter suspended the accounts of well-known white nationalists Monday, moving swiftly to enforce its new rules aimed at reducing what it deems abusive content.
The account of far-right group Britain First, a small group that regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, was among the first to go dark. The individual accounts of two of its leaders, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, were also suspended.
Twitter said it would not comment on individual accounts. The company has emphasized that it takes into account many factors before making any enforcement decision, including context of the post, cultural and political considerations and the severity of the violation.
Twitter is also prohibiting users from abusing or threatening others through their profiles or usernames. The company also now bans accounts affiliated with “organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”
Emma Llanso, director of the free expression project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said the new guidelines represent a substantial change for Twitter’s policies. But, he added, it’s not going to be immediately clear to all users what falls within the new prohibitions.”
There is a ton of weasel in there.
…First…they’re coming for the white nationalists…
…Who is next on their list?…
…Despite whatever I may think about white nationalists…I can see this is a terrible move on the part of Twitter.
Short of credible threats and fraud…no company should provide a communications service, just to turn around and interfere with the communication…concepts, unpopular findings and opinions should remain protected.
Twitter has such a massive user base…it’s essentially a public utility, in function.
Date: December 18, 2017
“The Trump administration recently let the CDC know that they were forbidden from using this list of words. Cenk Uygur, and Ana Kasparian, of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Read more here: CDC chief tells staff ‘no banned words,’ while not refuting report“