Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014

ilovecephalopods:

snoopycomet:

thecutestofthecute:

chronicarus:

Spiders with water droplet hats are something I really needed to know about.

I have a bad phobia of spiders but this is freaking adorable alright

Did this photoset just make spiders look cute to me?

too freaking cute to not reblog!

Sep 22, 2014

"The Letter" Is Still The Best Story To Explain Why Copyright Monopoly Must Be Reduced | TorrentFreak

questionall:

By Rick Falkvinge
on September 21, 2014
C: 187

Opinion

People are still getting distracted by the silly question of “how somebody will get paid” if the copyright monopoly is reduced. It’s irrelevant, it’s a red herring. What this debate is about is bringing vital civil liberties along from the analog environment into the digital - and that requires allowing file-sharing all out.

copyright-brandedAs I travel the world and speak to people from all professions and walks of life about the copyright monopoly, “the letter” is still the story that causes the most pennies to drop about why the copyright monopoly must be reduced. It’s by far the angle that makes the message come across to the most people.

“How will the artists make money” is basically just a distraction from the real and important issues at hand, and this story helps bring them there.

The story of “the letter” deals with just how big and vital civil liberties have been sacrificed in the transition from analog to digital at the tenacious insistence of the copyright industry for the sake of their bottom line. The analog letter was the message sent the way our parents sent them: written onto a physical piece of paper, put into an envelope, postaged with an old-fashioned stamp and put into a mailbox for physical delivery to the intended recipient.

That letter had four important characteristics that each embodied vital civil liberties.

That letter, first of all, was anonymous. Everybody had the right to send an anonymous message to somebody. You could identify yourself on the inside of the message, for only the recipient to know, on the envelope, for the postal services to know, or not at all. Or you could write a totally bogus name, organization, and address as the sender of your message, and that was okay, too. Not just okay, it was even fairly common.

Second, it was secret in transit. When we talk of letters being opened and inspected routinely, the thoughts go to scenes of the East German Stasi – the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, the East German National Security Agency (yes, that’s how Stasi’s name translates). Letters being opened and inspected? Seriously? You had to be the primary suspect of an extremely grave crime for that to take place.

Third, the mailman was never ever held responsible for the contents of the letters being carried. The thought was ridiculous. They were not allowed to look at the messages in the first place, so it was unthinkable that they’d be held accountable for what they dutifully delivered.

Fourth, the letter was untracked. Nobody had the means – nor indeed the capability – to map who was communicating with whom.

All of these characteristics, which all embed vital civil liberties, have been lost in the transition to digital at the insistence of the copyright industry – so that they, as a third-party, can prevent people from sending letters with a content they just don’t like to see sent, for business reasons of theirs.

The question of “how will somebody make money” is entirely irrelevant. The job of any entrepreneur is to make money given the current constraints of society and technology.

No industry gets to dismantle civil liberties with the poor excuse that they can’t make money otherwise. They have the simple choice of doing something else or go out of business. And yet, that’s exactly what we have allowed the copyright industry to do: dismantle vital civil liberties. Dismantle the very concept of the private letter. And they’re continuing to do so under pretty but deceptive words.

When I explain the situation like this, the penny drops for an astounding amount of people and they stop asking the learned, but silly, question about how somebody is to get paid if we have the rights we’ve always had – to send anything to anybody anonymously.

That’s the Analog Equivalent Right. To be able send anything to anybody anonymously. And that’s what we need to bring to the digital environment, even if an obsolete industry doesn’t like it because it may or may not hurt the bottom line. That’s completely irrelevant.

Try telling this story and watch the penny drop, almost every single time. It’s remarkable.

About The Author

Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy.


Follow @Falkvinge


I love this. I must try this story with the conservative people I know. See if it works.

Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014
Sep 21, 2014
we-are-star-stuff:

Can our brains see the fourth dimension?
Most of us are accustomed to watching 2-D; even though characters on the screen appear to have depth and texture, the image is actually flat. But when we put on 3-D glasses, we see a world that has shape, a world that we could walk in. We can imagine existing in such a world because we live in one. The things in our daily life have height, width and length. But for someone who’s only known life in two dimensions, 3-D would be impossible to comprehend. And that, according to many researchers, is the reason we can’t see the fourth dimension, or any other dimension beyond that. Physicists work under the assumption that there are at least 10 dimensions, but the majority of us will never “see” them. Because we only know life in 3-D, our brains don’t understand how to look for anything more.
In 1884, Edwin A. Abbot published a novel that depicts the problem of seeing dimensions beyond your own. In “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" Abbot describes the life of a square in a two-dimensional world. Living in 2-D means that the square is surrounded by circles, triangles and rectangles, but all the square sees are other lines. One day, the square is visited by a sphere. On first glance, the sphere just looks like a circle to the square, and the square can’t comprehend what the sphere means when he explains 3-D objects. Eventually, the sphere takes the square to the 3-D world, and the square understands. He sees not just lines, but entire shapes that have depth. Emboldened, the square asks the sphere what exists beyond the 3-D world; the sphere is appalled. The sphere can’t comprehend a world beyond this, and in this way, stands in for the reader. Our brains aren’t trained to see anything other than our world, and it will likely take something from another dimension to make us understand.

But what is this other dimension? Mystics used to see it as a place where spirits lived, since they weren’t bound by our earthly rules. In his theory of special relativity, Einstein called the fourth dimension time, but noted that time is inseparable from space. Science fiction aficionados may recognize that union as space-time, and indeed, the idea of a space-time continuum has been popularized by science fiction writers for centuries. Einstein described gravity as a bend in space-time. Today, some physicists describe the fourth dimension as any space that’s perpendicular to a cube - the problem being that most of us can’t visualize something that is perpendicular to a cube.
Researchers have used Einstein’s ideas to determine whether we can travel through time. While we can move in any direction in our 3-D world, we can only move forward in time. Thus, traveling to the past has been deemed near-impossible, though some researchers still hold out hope for finding wormholes that connect to different sections of space-time.
If we can’t use the fourth dimension to time travel, and if we can’t even see the fourth dimension, then what’s the point of knowing about it? Understanding these higher dimensions is of importance to mathematicians and physicists because it helps them understand the world. String theory, for example, relies upon at least 10 dimensions to remain viable. For these researchers, the answers to complex problems in the 3-D world may be found in the next dimension - and beyond.
[via]

we-are-star-stuff:

Can our brains see the fourth dimension?

Most of us are accustomed to watching 2-D; even though characters on the screen appear to have depth and texture, the image is actually flat. But when we put on 3-D glasses, we see a world that has shape, a world that we could walk in. We can imagine existing in such a world because we live in one. The things in our daily life have height, width and length. But for someone who’s only known life in two dimensions, 3-D would be impossible to comprehend. And that, according to many researchers, is the reason we can’t see the fourth dimension, or any other dimension beyond that. Physicists work under the assumption that there are at least 10 dimensions, but the majority of us will never “see” them. Because we only know life in 3-D, our brains don’t understand how to look for anything more.

In 1884, Edwin A. Abbot published a novel that depicts the problem of seeing dimensions beyond your own. In “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" Abbot describes the life of a square in a two-dimensional world. Living in 2-D means that the square is surrounded by circles, triangles and rectangles, but all the square sees are other lines. One day, the square is visited by a sphere. On first glance, the sphere just looks like a circle to the square, and the square can’t comprehend what the sphere means when he explains 3-D objects. Eventually, the sphere takes the square to the 3-D world, and the square understands. He sees not just lines, but entire shapes that have depth. Emboldened, the square asks the sphere what exists beyond the 3-D world; the sphere is appalled. The sphere can’t comprehend a world beyond this, and in this way, stands in for the reader. Our brains aren’t trained to see anything other than our world, and it will likely take something from another dimension to make us understand.

But what is this other dimension? Mystics used to see it as a place where spirits lived, since they weren’t bound by our earthly rules. In his theory of special relativity, Einstein called the fourth dimension time, but noted that time is inseparable from space. Science fiction aficionados may recognize that union as space-time, and indeed, the idea of a space-time continuum has been popularized by science fiction writers for centuries. Einstein described gravity as a bend in space-time. Today, some physicists describe the fourth dimension as any space that’s perpendicular to a cube - the problem being that most of us can’t visualize something that is perpendicular to a cube.

Researchers have used Einstein’s ideas to determine whether we can travel through time. While we can move in any direction in our 3-D world, we can only move forward in time. Thus, traveling to the past has been deemed near-impossible, though some researchers still hold out hope for finding wormholes that connect to different sections of space-time.

If we can’t use the fourth dimension to time travel, and if we can’t even see the fourth dimension, then what’s the point of knowing about it? Understanding these higher dimensions is of importance to mathematicians and physicists because it helps them understand the world. String theory, for example, relies upon at least 10 dimensions to remain viable. For these researchers, the answers to complex problems in the 3-D world may be found in the next dimension - and beyond.

[via]

(via infinity-imagined)

Sep 21, 2014

littlelimpstiff14u2:

The Graceful Sculptures of

Forest Rogers

Just a word here, for the moment. I studied stage design at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, receiving an MFA in Costume Design. I make critters, both ‘fine’ and commercial. More anon!

deviantArt

(via nerdstuff45)

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