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Americans, we helped you and spread awareness about SOPA. Now it's time to help us. Europe has their own SOPA, called ACTA.

antitau:

realcleverscience:

dreamradicaldreams:

theloupgaroux:

czarofdeath:

Post by gamzeemakara

Please help. We won’t be able to send you BBC and European TV and stuff if this passes. As my friend said, this is dangerous and scary.

I’m not sure how to set one up, someone please make a petition.

+ Canada. Canada is included in this as well. fml. 

 ACTA is actually worldwide!

The negotiating parties include: Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. And according to Wikipedia of all these participants only The EU, Mexico, and Switzerland have yet to sign!!!

All the negotiations were conducted behind closed doors until a series of leaked documents relating to the negotiations emerged which explains why there is little to no media coverages.

This is all scary stuff. Read more about ACTA at Wikipedia och check out this video: ACTA EXPLAINED.

Hey RCS followers, I don’t post much political/activist stuff on RCS that much anymore - instead, I act as a contributing editor for WeSpeakForEarth and post it there - but this is pretty important. 

As we’re all well aware of SOPA and PIPA by now, and as we’re all familiar with gov’t and corporate corruption, it’s important to mention this proposed legislation which would similarly endanger the internet.

And I’m not saying that piracy isn’t a problem, but I don’t think these bills are the solutions. They favor the interests and concerns of the 1% - worldwide - instead of the 99%, which legislation in democracies should care most about. 

So please take a minute. Check out the wiki link, and sign the petition - Here. (Takes 30 seconds.)

-Ari

P.s. Inspiration? At least for some.

I’m sorry, but this is getting utterly ridiculous.

Filed under internet worldwide acta sopa pipa

4 notes

A Day’s Worth of Facts to Get You Through Wikipedia’s 24-Hour Blackout

BY BEN GREENMAN

  1. A triangle is a geometric figure that has three sides.
  2. A whale is a mammal, not a fish.
  3. The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American history, with casualties approaching 700,000.
  4. An old form of broom was the besom, which was made simply of twigs tied to a handle, and was relatively inefficient as a cleaning implement.
  5. Unlike his contemporaries, Goethe didn’t see darkness as an absence of light, but rather as polar to and interacting with light.
  6. Goethe was a talking serpent who lived in Egypt at the start of the eighth century. He had blue eyes, beautiful blue eyes.
  7. One is the loneliest number.
  8. Trees can speak. They just choose not to.
  9. The first ruler of Turkey was, in fact, a turkey.
  10. You know that girl you really like? She doesn’t like you nearly as much and never will, unless your interest in her suddenly vanishes, in which case she may well start to like you. This may seem like a paradox, and it is, assuming that a paradox is a medieval weapon of torture.

(via McSweeney’s)

Filed under SOPA PIPA Wikipedia McSweeney's facts internet

2,370 notes

SOPA lives—and MPAA calls protests an "abuse of power"

(from wilwheaton)

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has looked at tomorrow’s “Internet blackout” in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—and it sees only a “gimmick,” a “stunt,” “hyperbole,” “a dangerous and troubling development,” an “irresponsible response,” and an “abuse of power.”

“Wikipedia, reddit, and others are going dark to protest the legislation, while sites like Scribd and Google will also protest. In response, MPAA chief Chris Dodd wheeled out the big guns and started firing the rhetoric machine-gun style. 

“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.”

Can I interrupt for a moment? Thanks. When you complain that opponents didn’t “come to the table to find solutions”, do you mean that we didn’t give NINETY-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS to congress like the MPAA? Or do you mean that we didn’t come to the one hearing that Lamar Smith held, where opponents of SOPA were refused an opportunity to comment? Help me out, here, Chris Dodd, because I’m really trying hard to understand you.

“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.”

Oh ha ha. Ho. Ho. The MPAA talking about “skewing the facts to incite” anyone is just too much. 

“A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

Except for the part where this is completely false, it’s a valid point.

“It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

Riiiiiiight. Protesting to raise awareness of terrible legislation that will destroy the free and open Internet  is an abuse of power, but buying NINETY-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS worth of congressional votes is just fine.

I’m so disappointed in Chris Dodd. He was a pretty good senator, wrote some bills (like Dodd/Frank) that are genuinely helping people, and is going to be on the wrong side of every argument as head of the MPAA. What a wasted legacy.

—Wil Wheaton

Filed under SOPA PIPA Internet blackout MPAA rhetoric protest

905 notes

Big ways the internet is changing our brains

mega-mix:

  1. THE INTERNET IS OUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

    We don’t have to remember phone numbers or addresses anymore. Instead, we can just hop on our email or Google to look it up. According to a study by Science Magazine, “the Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” and our brains have become reliant on the availability of information.

  2. CHILDREN ARE LEARNING DIFFERENTLY

    Remember all of the history lessons that required you to remember dates, names, and finite details? Kids don’t do that nearly as much as they used to. With online libraries, “rote memorization is no longer a necessary part of education” according to Read Write Web. Educators are beginning to understand that information is now coming at us through a fire hose, quicker and faster than we can digest it, and memorizing facts wastes valuable brain power that could be used to keep up with more important information that can’t be quickly Googled.

  3. WE HARDLY EVER GIVE TASKS OUR FULL ATTENTION

    Have you ever updated your Facebook while listening to music and texting a friend? If so, you’ve experienced the phenomenon of continuous partial attention and its impact on your brain. It remains to be seen if partial attention is a distraction as most believe, or an adaptation of the brain to the constant flow of stimuli.

  4. WE DON’T BOTHER TO REMEMBER

    In a study by Science Magazine, students were asked to type in pieces of trivia, and depending on their group were told that their information would either be erased or saved. The group that was told their data would be saved were less likely to remember. This study indicates that people have lower rates of recall when they can expect to be able to access information in the future.

  5. WE’RE GETTING BETTER AT FINDING INFORMATION

    Although we can’t remember it all, we’re getting better at finding the information we need. It seems that the brainpower previously used to retain facts and information is now being used to remember how to look it up. Professor Betsy Sparrow reports, “We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found.” She indicates that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and may even be “kind of amazing,” as we’re adapting to new technology and becoming highly skilled in remembering where to find things.

  1. DIFFICULT QUESTIONS MAKE US THINK ABOUT COMPUTERS

    When faced with a difficult question, people rarely consider the encyclopedia or history books, but rather, think about computers. It’s a brand new impulse that exists in our brains. For many, this means we don’t have to trek to the library, or, with the ubiquity of smartphones, even go much farther than our own pockets. It’s no longer a big deal to find an old classmate or remember the name of an actor in a movie — all you have to do is Google it.

  2. IQ IS INCREASING OVER TIME

    In the age of MTV and video games, parents and experts worried that the new and flashy technologies would fry our poor brains into oblivion. But the exact opposite has happened: after MTV, after video games, after Twitter, Facebook, and Google, we’re getting smarter. Are we smarter because of technology, or in spite of it? No one’s answered that question yet, but it’s interesting to think about.

  3. OUR CONCENTRATION IS SUFFERING

    In an article for The AtlanticNicholas Carr relates his growing difficulty in deep reading. Like so many others, he finds that “deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.” It’s not hard to figure out why. Our time online is often spent scanning headlines and posts and quickly surfing links, never spending much time on any one thing. So of course, when it comes to reading more than a few minutes, or even moments, of information, your mind will often begin to wander.

  4. WE’RE GETTING BETTER AT DETERMINING RELEVANCE

    With so much information, it’s only natural that some of it is junk. After all, we’re no longer in a world bound by printing presses and editors: just about anyone can put information out there and promote the heck out of it. It’s up to us as readers and consumers of information to determine what’s relevant and reliable, and with so much practice, our brains are getting better at this task every day.

  5. WE’RE BECOMING PHYSICALLY ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY

    Even after unplugging, many Internet users feel a craving for the stimulation received from gadgets. The culprit is dopamine, which is delivered as a response to the stimulation — without it, you feel bored. The wife of a heavy technology user notes that her husband is “crotchety until he gets his fix.”After spending time online, your brain wants to get back on for more, making it difficult to concentrate on other tasks and “unplug.”

  1. THE MORE YOU USE THE INTERNET, THE MORE IT LIGHTS UP YOUR BRAIN

    In 2007, UCLA professor Gary Small tested experienced surfers and newbie Internet users, asking them to Google a variety of preselected topics. In his experiment, he monitored brain activity, noting that experienced surfers showed much more activity than novice users, especially in the areas typically devoted to decisions and problem solving. He brought them all back six days later, this time having the newbies spend an hour each day searching online in the period before they came back. In the second test, the novice surfers’ brains looked more like the intermediate Internet users. “Five hours on the Internet and the naive subjects had already rewired their brains,” noted Small, suggesting that over time, Internet use changes neural pathways.

  2. OUR BRAINS CONSTANTLY SEEK OUT INCOMING INFORMATION

    Tests at Stanford indicate that multitaskers, such as heavy Internet users, often tend to overlook older, valuable information, instead choosing to seek out new information. Clifford Nass of Stanford observes, “we’ve got a large and growing group of people who think the slightest hint that something interesting might be going on is like catnip. They can’t ignore it.” Instead of focusing on important tasks, or putting information to good use, we’re distracted by incoming email.

  3. WE’VE BECOME POWER BROWSERS

    Online browsing has created a new form of “reading,” in which users aren’t really reading online, but rather power browsing through sites. Instead of left to right, up to down reading, we seem to scan through titles, bullet points, and information that stands out. Comprehension and attention are certainly at risk here.

  4. ONLINE THINKING PERSISTS EVEN OFFLINE

    When you’re online, you’re frequently attacked by bursts of information, which is highly stimulating and even overwhelming. Too much, and you can become extremely distracted and unfocused. Even after you log off (if you ever do), your brain remains rewired. A lack of focus and fractured thinking can persist, interrupting work, family, and offline time.

  5. CREATIVE THINKING MAY SUFFER

    Some experts believe that memorization is critical to creativity. William Klemm, a neuroscience professor at Texas A&M University insists that “Creativity comes from a mind that knows, and remembers, a lot.” Although creativity seems to have grown with the use of technology, it’s certainly being done in new and different ways. And Klemm’s assertion is certainly true for creative thinking and brainstorming born out of memorized knowledge, which so many of us now store online.

(via afro-dominicano)

Filed under science internet computers technology brain neuroscience

11 notes

Nine Stubborn Brain Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

  1. Left-Brained People Are Organized, Right-Brained People Are Creative 
  2. Your Memory Is An Exact Account of What You See and Experience 
  3. You Only Use 10% of Your Brain 
  4. Alcohol Kills Brain Cells 
  5. The Internet Is Making Us Dumber 
  6. Listening to Classical Music Turns Babies into Geniuses 
  7. Brain Games Make You Smarter 
  8. Your IQ Is Fixed and Stays the Same Throughout Your Life 
  9. Your Brain Works Better Under Pressure

Filed under science myths creativity memory intelligence alcohol internet music babies games IQ stress common sense