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Archive for the ‘policy’ category

Jun 2, 2017

Reaction: Trump Decision to Withdraw from Paris Accord

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, Elon Musk, environmental, geopolitics, government, policy

One of the missions of Lifeboat Foundation has always been to contemplate the protection of our fragile Spaceship-Earth and to contemplate a day when we may need to migrate from this tiny stage. Yesterday, that day may have been moved a lot closer. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday, I had a fantasy. One that I passionately hoped would become reality. Minutes before Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, I began to daydream…

  • I dreamt that Trump might listen to his top science advisors and his daughter
  • I dreamt that he might not gamble our existence on his minority opinion that humans cannot help rescue the environment.
  • I dreamt that he would recognize that clean energy jobs trump legacy coal mining
  • I dreamt that he would avoid export tariffs for failing to respect international norms
  • I dreamt that he would stop pandering to Yahoos and stand for something worthy and undeniable

No such luck! The USA has lost its Mojo—at least while it is led by a man with no grasp of science, history, morals or a global perspective. As Trump begun to speak, I was sucked into a cruel nightmare. But this nightmare is reality. It’s the reality of a buffoon representing you and me in our nation’s highest office.

Question: Time for a thought experiment. Can you guess the answer?…

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May 31, 2017

In the Midst of Global Turmoil, Russia’s Science Community Reboots

Posted by in categories: alien life, policy, science

On a geopolitical level, science is also a crucial agent of soft power between nations. Going back decades, scientific collaborations have tempered tensions between Russia and its rival nations, and allowed cooler heads to prevail. In 1975, astronaut Thomas Stafford and cosmonaut Alexey Leonov shook hands in space as part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which reflected the policy of détente, or easing of strained relations, between the US and the USSR. The International Space Station (ISS), the crown jewel of science partnerships, is directly descended from this symbolic gesture.


I took a five-day tour of Russia’s leading scientific research centers. This is what I saw.

They call them the “golden brains.” Perched 22 storeys high, they engulf the top floors of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) headquarters in southwest Moscow. Somehow both geometric and wildly rampageous, the copper and aluminum sculptures look like the kind of long-lost technologies that protagonists stumble across on deserted alien worlds in Mass Effect.

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May 23, 2017

Sex Equality: I’m With Her

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, policy, rants, sex

Lifeboat Editorial

Lydia Begag is a high school junior at Advanced Math and Science Academy in Massachusetts. She got our attention when she published an editorial critical of the school’s uniform policy. With eloquence and articulation, she laid out a brilliant and persuasive argument that the policy was anything but uniform. It was ambiguous, arbitrary and discriminatory.


I’m with Her
Ideas Regarding Sex Equality
—Forget the Rest

Political and social turmoil are everywhere we turn, especially in the early months of 2017. Lunch conversations, small talk at work, and, of course, the media we consume have all become related to a singular topic: the United States government and its workings. Emotionally, I want to curl up in a ball and block out the political nonsense being spewed left and right until the day I die (pun very much intended)—but I feel intellectually obliged to confront the controversy.

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May 4, 2017

The Humans to Mars Summit

Posted by in categories: education, policy, space travel

5:10–5:20 | Student Presentation: Mars Exploration Project student leaders from American Academy of Innovation, a 6–12 grade public charter school in South Jordan, Utah.

5:20–5:30 | An Update on United States Space Exploration Policy TBA.

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Apr 29, 2017

Canada’s largest province to launch universal basic income trial

Posted by in categories: economics, government, policy

Canada’s largest province is to trial universal income, becoming the first North American government to test the progressive policy for decades.

Some 4,000 people in Ontario will be given at least C$16,989 (£9,850) a year under the scheme, with no conditions or restrictions attached.

Participants living in three settlements in Ontario will be selected at random to participate in the radical scheme, which advocates hail as a solution to poverty and costly bureaucracy.

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Apr 27, 2017

NATO in the Disinformation Age: Understanding the Threat

Posted by in category: policy

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Apr 12, 2017

The Risks of Bias and Errors in Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: employment, information science, policy, robotics/AI

Machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence systems influence many aspects of people’s lives: news articles, movies to watch, people to spend time with, access to credit, and even the investment of capital. Algorithms have been empowered to make such decisions and take actions for the sake of efficiency and speed. Despite these gains, there are concerns about the rapid automation of jobs (even such jobs as journalism and radiology). A better understanding of attitudes toward and interactions with algorithms is essential precisely because of the aura of objectivity and infallibility cultures tend to ascribe to them. This report illustrates some of the shortcomings of algorithmic decisionmaking, identifies key themes around the problem of algorithmic errors and bias, and examines some approaches for combating these problems. This report highlights the added risks and complexities inherent in the use of algorithmic decisionmaking in public policy. The report ends with a survey of approaches for combating these problems.

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Apr 12, 2017

150 trillion dollars of mostly unused Federal land and resources divided by 300 million Americans is $500,000 each

Posted by in categories: economics, health, policy

Where’s my money, you’re asking? Me too! There shouldn’t be poverty in America or people that can’t reasonably afford health insurance—it’s that simple. Below I’m resharing my TechCrunch California Governor policy article on a Universal Basic Income. If you’re in California, you will be able to vote for me to try to see this become a reality: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/10/is-monetizing-federal-land…ic-income/

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Apr 9, 2017

Innovation in the Bay Area: Q&A with Nidhi Kalra

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, drones, education, life extension, policy, robotics/AI, satellites

For people in that area, and it may be worth while to try reaching out to them for funding for anti aging stuff.


Why is RAND opening a Bay Area office?

The San Francisco Bay Area is really at the center of technology and transformation. That’s also been a focus at RAND since our very first report, Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship, in 1946, which foretold the creation of satellites more than a decade before Sputnik.

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Apr 5, 2017

Inside the plan to replace Trump’s border wall with a high-tech ecotopia

Posted by in categories: economics, policy, privacy, solar power, sustainability, transportation

The year is 2030. Former president Donald Trump’s border wall, once considered a political inevitability, was never built. Instead, its billions of dollars of funding were poured into something the world had never seen: a strip of shared territory spanning the border between the United States and Mexico. Otra Nation, as the state is called, is a high-tech ecotopia, powered by vast solar farms and connected with a hyperloop transportation system. Biometric checks identify citizens and visitors, and relaxed trade rules have turned Otra Nation into a booming economic hub. Environmental conservation policies have maximized potable water and ameliorated a new Dust Bowl to the north. This is the future envisioned by the Made Collective, a group of architects, urban planners, and others who are proposing what they call a “shared co-nation” as a new kind of state.

Many people have imagined their own alternatives to Trump’s planned border wall, from the plausible — like a bi-national irrigation initiative — to the absurd — like an “inflatoborder” made of plastic bubbles. Made’s members insist that they’re serious about Otra Nation, though, and that they’ve got the skills to make it work. That’s almost certainly not true — but it’s also beside the point. At a time when policy proposals should be taken “seriously but not literally,” and facts are up for grabs, Otra Nation turns the slippery Trump playbook around to offer a counter-fantasy. In the words of collective member Marina Muñoz, “We can really make the complete American continent great again.”

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