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Infotech Events Around Cambridge, MA - September 10 - 25

by gmoke Mon Sep 10th, 2018 at 02:18:04 AM EST

I publish a free weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events around Cambridge, MA as a webpage (http://hubevents.blogspot.com) and listserv (email gmoke@world.std.com if you are interested).

(and Other) events are anything that piques my interest.  Sometimes trends are clearly visible, as in this list of infotech, roughly speaking, events from September 10 to 25.  Cybersecurity, social media, AI, VR/AR, robotics, big data, and such are busting out all over.

If you're interested in the wider project that Energy (and Other) Events could become, please read

What I Do and Why I Do It:  The Story of Energy (and Other) Events

http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2013/11/what-i-do-and-why-i-do-it.html

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Streaming Analytics for the Smart Grid
Monday, September 10
4:00pm to 5:00pm
MIT, Building 32-155, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge
Le Xie, Texas A&M University
ABSTRACT
How to conduct real-time analytics of streaming measurement data in the power grid? This talk offers a dynamic systems approach to utilizing data of different time scale for improved monitoring of the grid cyber and physical security. The first example of the talk presents how to leverage synchrophasor data dimensionality reduction and Robust Principal Component Analysis for early anomaly detection, visualization, and localization. The second example presents an online framework to detect cyber-attacks on automatic generation control (AGC). A cyber-attack detection algorithm is designed based on the approach of Dynamic Watermarking. The detection algorithm provides a theoretical guarantee of detection of cyber-attacks launched by sophisticated attackers possessing extensive knowledge of the physical and statistical models of targeted power systems. The underlying theme of the work suggests the importance of integrating data with dynamic context-aware models in the smart grid.
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Le Xie is a Professor and Eugene Webb Faculty Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University, S.M. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard, and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 2009. His industry experience includes ISO-New England and Edison Mission Energy Marketing and Trading. His research interest includes modeling and control in data-rich large-scale systems, grid integration of clean energy resources, and electricity markets.
Dr. Xie received the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and DOE Oak Ridge Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. He was awarded the 2017 IEEE PES Outstanding Young Engineer Award. He was the recipient of Texas A&M Dean of Engineering Excellence Award, ECE Outstanding Professor Award, and TEES Select Young Fellow. He is an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and the founding chair of IEEE PES Subcommittee on Big Data & Analytics for Grid Operations. He and his students received the Best Paper awards at North American Power Symposium and IEEE SmartGridComm. He recently chaired the 2018 NSF Workshop on Real-time Learning and Decision Making in Dynamical Systems.
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Boston FinTech Week: The Future of AI
Monday, September 10
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Kensho Technologies, 44 Brattle Street , Cambridge
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/boston-fintech-week-the-future-of-ai-tickets-49343383388

A Boston FinTech Week Event: The future of AI and how it is transforming the business world.

A world-class panel of experts will discuss and debate the latest AI technology, its benefits (scalability, insights, cost reduction), legality and risks (lack of transparency, model bias, job displacement).

Panelist include members from the Berkman Klein Center (a collaboration of Harvard, MIT and other universities to study the impact of AI) and senior executives from a global financial firm, a biomedical research institute and the U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau.

The event will be hosted at Kensho, recently acquired by S&P Global in the largest AI FinTech transaction in history. Please join us at Kensho's new offices in Harvard Square for an exciting event.

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Through the Looking Glass: Cybersecurity in an Era of Rapid FinTech Innovation
Monday, September 10
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ernst & Young, 200 Clarendon Street, Boston
RSVP at https:
www.meetup.com/Boston-FinTech/events/253607098

In an evolving age in which FinTech startups are innovating niche functions of the financial services business and technological environment, both large institutions and startups need to consider how the roles of FinTech firms are affecting the management of Cybersecurity across the organizational landscape. Join us for all the excitement of Boston FinTech Week at EY with our panel of institutional veterans, FinTech startups, and industry experts as we explore the evolution of Cyber in the emerging FinTech ecosystem. Covering topics from integration of emerging technologies and exposing the resulting risks in the IT environment to increasing awareness over privacy and the role of Cyber risk reporting. This panel will offer insight into approaching the evolving Cyber landscape.
Moderator: Dan New, EY New England Financial Services Growth Markets and FinTech Leader
Panelists: - Sundeep Nehra, EY - Jothy Rosenberg, Dover Microsystems - Patrick Callaghan, JP Morgan Chase

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Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy
Tuesday, September 11
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Harvard, Taubman 5th floor, Allison Dining Room, 15 Eliot Street, Cambridge

Siva Vaidhyanathan

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Deconstructing Internet Censorship and its Consequences
Tuesday, September 11
3:00 PM
Tufts, Halligan 102, 161 College Avenue, Medford

Speaker: Ihsan Ayyub Qazi, Lahore University of Management Sciences
Abstract:
Internet censorship is on the rise, with over 70 countries restricting Internet access to their citizens. Some recent examples include the censorship of YouTube in Pakistan, blocking of Twitter in Turkey, and the filtering of Google in China. Internet censorship has a substantial impact on different stakeholders in the Internet ecosystem (e.g., users, content providers, and advertisers). In this talk, I will discuss two projects that my research group has recently worked on related to Internet censorship.
In the first half of my talk, I will describe C-Saw, a system that provides incentives to users for measuring Internet censorship. C-Saw offers data-driven circumvention as an incentive in exchange for measurements. As more users crowdsource, the censorship data gets richer. This helps in adapting the circumvention approach based on the deployed censorship mechanism for improving page load times. (This work appeared in ACM SIGCOMM 2018.)  In the second half of my talk, I'll discuss the impact of Internet censorship on the online advertising ecosystem. To this end, I will describe Advention, a system that services relevant ads while allowing users to receive the benefits of circumvention/anonymity tools (e.g., Tor). Our results show that ADVENTION not only offers high ad relevance compared to other popular circumvention tools, it also offers smaller page load times. (This work appeared in ACM HotNets 2017.)

Bio:
Ihsan Ayyub Qazi is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA in 2010 and the BSc. (Hons) degree from LUMS with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2005. He was a Visiting Research Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, USA in 2017. Previously, he has also held positions at the Center for Advanced Internet Architectures, Australia and BBN Technologies, USA. His research interests are in computer networks and distributed systems and span cloud computing and datacenters, mobile/wireless networks, ICT for developing regions, and Internet censorship. He has published papers in premier networking conferences, such as ACM SIGCOMM, and journals including IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. My work was selected as a best ACM SIGCOMM CCR paper in 2018. He is a recipient of the Google Faculty Research Award and the Andrew Mellon Fellowship. More information can be found at http://web.lums.edu.pk/~ihsan/.

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Is Cyber Resilience Possible?
Tuesday, September 11
4:30pm to 6:00pm
Northeastern, Renaissance Park, 909, 1135 Tremont Street, Boston

Please join us for a presentation by John Manferdelli, Professor of the Practice and Executive Director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at Northeastern University, for the first Fall semester event in the Contemporary Issues in Security and Resilience Studies speaker series.

More information at https:/cssh.northeastern.edu/internationalcenter/event/is-cyber-resilience-possible

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Is Cyber Resilience Possible?
Tuesday, September 11
4:30pm to 6:00pm
Northeastern, Renaissance Park, 909, 1135 Tremont Street, Boston

Please join us for a presentation by John Manferdelli, Professor of the Practice and Executive Director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at Northeastern University, for the first Fall semester event in the Contemporary Issues in Security and Resilience Studies speaker series.

More information at https:/cssh.northeastern.edu/internationalcenter/event/is-cyber-resilience-possible

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The Person You Mean to Be:  How Good People Fight Bias
Tuesday, September 11
7:00 PM
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning social psychologist DOLLY CHUGH for a discussion of her latest book, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. This event is cosponsored by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

About The Person You Mean to Be
Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion. But how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? The Person You Mean to Be is the smart, "semi-bold" person's guide to fighting for what you believe in.

Dolly reveals the surprising causes of inequality, grounded in the "psychology of good people". Using her research findings in unconscious bias as well as work across psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and other disciplines, she offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don't look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. Being the person we mean to be starts with a look at ourselves.

She argues that the only way to be on the right side of history is to be a good-ish--rather than good--person. Good-ish people are always growing. Second, she helps you find your "ordinary privilege"--the part of your everyday identity you take for granted, such as race for a white person, sexual orientation for a straight person, gender for a man, or education for a college graduate. This part of your identity may bring blind spots, but it is your best tool for influencing change. Third, Dolly introduces the psychological reasons that make it hard for us to see the bias in and around us. She leads you from willful ignorance to willful awareness. Finally, she guides you on how, when, and whom, to engage (and not engage) in your workplaces, homes, and communities. Her science-based approach is a method any of us can put to use in all parts of our life.

Whether you are a long-time activist or new to the fight, you can start from where you are. Through the compelling stories Dolly shares and the surprising science she reports, Dolly guides each of us closer to being the person we mean to be.

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Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy
Tuesday, September 11
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT
Harvard Coop, 1400 Mass Avenue, Cambridge
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/siva-vaidhyanathan-will-discuss-antisocial-media-how-facebook-disconnec ts-us-and-undermines-tickets-48671181815

Antisocial Media explains how Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging. It discusses how "social media" has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump's election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines.

Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and the Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. He produces a local public-affairs television program and several podcasts, and he directs the publication of Virginia Quarterly Review. A former professional journalist, he has published five previous books on technology, law, and society, includingThe Googlization of Everything. He has also contributed to publications such as The Nation, Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, BookForum, The New York Times Book Review, and The Baffler.

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How to Stay Safe & Secure Online
Wednesday, September 12
11:00am - 12:30pm
BC, Digital Studio (Rm. 205), Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill
RSVP at http://libcal.bc.edu/event/4540656

Feeling freaked out by all the cyber breaches lately? Want to plan an activist movement but want to stay safe? Or do you simply want to use online dating services without getting stalked? Join us in this workshop to learn about digital privacy. We'll go over how to use tools to protect yourself online, as well as what to do if you've been hacked, harassed, or otherwise victimized on ye olde World Wide Web.

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What is the State of the Cybersecurity Ecosystem in Boston?
Wednesday, September 12
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT
Akamai's HQ, 150 Broadway Street, Cambridge
RSVP at https:
www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-the-state-of-the-cybersecurity-ecosystem-in-boston-tickets-4869 2153542

Cybersecurity has experienced tremendous industry growth and shows no sign of stopping, with increasing concerns about user data security, IoT vulnerabilities, and more. A record $7.66 billion in funding was raised by cybersecurity startups in 2017, many of them in Boston.

But rapid growth doesn't come without growing pains like talent shortages, tough competition for M&A, and customers experiencing sales pitch overload. Join us for a panel discussion about the state of the cybersecurity ecosystem in Boston: challenges startups are facing, opportunities investors are still looking to fund, available resources and still-needed programs.
This event is part of the Tech & Industry Trends track at Startup Boston 2018.

Our Speakers:
Rick Grinnell, Founder & Managing Partner at Glasswing Ventures
As a venture capitalist and seasoned operator, Rick has invested in some of the most dynamic companies in security, enterprise infrastructure, and storage. During his 18 years of venture capital experience, which includes co-founding and serving as Managing Director of Fairhaven Capital, he has led investments and served on the board of directors for companies including EqualLogic (acquired by Dell), Prelert (acquired by Elastic), Pwnie Express, Resilient Systems (acquired by IBM), Trackvia, VeloBit (acquired by Western Digital) and most recently Allure Security, and Terbium Labs.
Greg Dracon, Partner at .406 Ventures
Greg joined .406 in 2007 and is involved in all aspects of the investing and portfolio management process. His portfolio includes Edgewise Networks, Pwnie Express, Greathorn, and Threat Stack among other cybersecurity investments. He also serves as a board member for many of these companies, and is the Board Director for Greathorn and Terbium Labs.
Gwen Betts, Director of UX at Rapid7
Gwen is a startup veteran within Boston's cybersecurity industry. She joined Komand as their founding designer and became their Director of Customer Experience, and now leads UX at Rapid7. Gwen's an active contributor in this space, presenting at local meetups and at the O'Reilly Security Conference.

Our Moderator:
Clement Cazalot, Managing Director at Techstars Boston
Clement is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor. Clement Cazalot is currently Managing Director of Techstars Boston, leading the expansion of one of the most prestigious, impactful and founder-friendly startup accelerator and early stage investor in the world.
Previously he served as VP Technology at Intralinks (NYSE: IL), until its acquisition by Synchronoss (NASDAQ: SNCR). There he created from the ground up both R&D and Product Design business units, to re-build the company infrastructure and next generation products. Intralinks provides secure software to all the banks in the world. The company is part of the top 10 largest SaaS companies in the document management space.

This is a Startup Boston event.
Startup Boston is a free, five-day series of events celebrating, educating, and connecting entrepreneurs in Boston. Taking place from September 10-14th, 2018, Startup Boston brings entrepreneurs, company leaders, innovators, and industry experts together to foster collaboration and fuel growth in Boston's startup ecosystem.
Thank you to our event partners.

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CSAIL Hot Topics in Computing - Muddied Waters: Online Disinformation During Crisis
Wednesday, September 12
4:30pm to 5:30pm
MIT Stata Center, 32-123/Kirsch Auditorium, MIT Stata Center, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Recent public attention and debate around "fake news" has highlighted the growing challenge of determining information veracity online. This is a complex and dynamic problem at the intersection of technology, human cognition, and human behavior--i.e. our strategies and heuristics for making sense of information may make us vulnerable, especially within online spaces, to absorbing and passing along misinformation. Increasingly, it appears that certain actors are exploiting these vulnerabilities, spreading intentional misinformation--or disinformation--for various purposes, including geopolitical goals. This talk explores some of the motivations and tactics of disinformation, explaining how geopolitical actors use social media and the surrounding information ecosystem to sow doubt and division.

Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington (UW). Kate's research is situated within human-computer interaction (HCI) and the emerging field of crisis informatics--the study of the how information-communication technologies (ICTs) are used during crisis events. One aspect of her research focuses on how online rumors spread--and how online rumors are corrected--during natural disasters and man-made crisis events. More recently, she has begun to focus on the propagation of disinformation and political propaganda through online spaces. Kate earned her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Technology, Media and Society and holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.

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MIT Social Media and Democracy Colloquium
Wednesday, September 12
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM EDT
MIT, Building 10-250, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
RSVP at https:
www.eventbrite.com/e/mit-social-media-and-democracy-colloquium-tickets-49218079601

Democracies around the world face a set of unique and proliferating challenges in the twenty-first century, particularly stemming from the increasing power and presence of digital platforms like social media and related technologies. Such digital platforms are the spaces and places that increasingly provide the dominant means of encountering and exchanging ideas, finding news and information, and for creating social and political communities. Although these platforms can promise to serve a public function, they are nonetheless dominantly owned and operated by the private sphere, leading to a number of legal, ethical, and broadly techno-social problems as evidenced by recent revelations of the relationship between Facebook and the 2016 American Presidential Elections.

Digital platforms are thus not easily classifiable under familiar categories: are they similar to traditional media (press and TV)? Are they considered a utility company (ISPs), providing essential services for internet users? What promising potentials and subsequent futures might certain iterations of social media platforms offer towards creating and maintaining the public and political spheres that are central to the evolution of twenty-first century democracies? How might these platforms be harnessed generatively, as well critiqued?
MIT's doctoral program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) invites the MIT and broader Boston/Cambridge community to join our first colloquium of the year, focused on the social, political, and technological entanglements of social media and democracy, broadly defined. This event features four leading scholars and thinkers specialized in researching and analyzing the infusion of social media platforms in our everyday social and political lives, including an audience Q&A session. Following a dinner break and time for socialization, the speakers will return for a smaller seminar session offered to graduate students for a more intimate and roundtable-style discussion.

This colloquium is the inaugural event for MIT's new 'Computational Cultures Initaitve' sponsored by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Find more information on the Initiative here: https:computationalcultures.mit.edu (website opening ~September 1st)
*Pizza will be served for all attendees following the lecture, outside the hall.

Speakers:
Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia
https:
mediastudies.virginia.edu/people/sv2r
Author of Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects As and Undermines Democracy; and, The Googlization of Everything. Siva has argued that academics from many fields associated with what he calls "Critical Information Studies" (which in part synthesizes key aspects of both cultural studies and political economy) should be engaged in interrogating the "structures, functions, habits, norms, and practices" of particular aspects of information culture and in analyzing how these issues go beyond simple arguments about digital "rights" to include consideration of more subtle impacts of cost and access that have the potential for chilling effects on a "semiotic democracy" that is situated in global flows of information.
Daniel Weitzner, MIT
https:
www.csail.mit.edu/person/daniel-weitzner
A leader in the development of Internet public policy from its inception, Prof. Weitzner is making fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free expression protection in the United States Supreme Court, crafting laws that provide protection against government surveillance of email and web browsing data. His work on US legislation limiting the liability of Internet Service Providers laid the foundations for social media services and supporting the global free flow of information online.
David Edelman, MIT
https:
www.csail.mit.edu/person/r-david-edelman
Formerly Special Assistant to the President for Economic and Technology Policy at the National Economic Council (NEC), Prof. Edelman led the Obama White House team focusing on the digital economy - including broadband, spectrum telecommunications, and technology trade - as well as consumer cybersecurity, domestic and international data privacy, high-tech patent and copyright issues, and antitrust/competition.
Joan Donovan, Data & Society
https:
datasociety.net/people/donovan-joan
At Data and Society, Joan is the research lead on media manipulation and platform accountability projects. For several years, she has conducted action research with different networked social movements in order to map and improve the communication infrastructures built by protesters. In her role as a participant, she identifies information bottlenecks, decodes algorithmic behavior, and connects organizations with other like-minded networks.

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Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard: Restoring Civility in Public Life
Wednesday, September 12
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
CIC Boston, 50 Milk Street, Boston
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/lea-berman-and-jeremy-bernard-restoring-civility-in-public-life-tickets -47215332330

Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard each served as White House social secretary for different administrations. Bernard worked for President Obama; Berman for President George W. Bush. They've collaborated on a new book that uses their White House experiences to draw out lessons in how to handle crises, defuse awkward moments and manage expectations. It's called Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power Of Civility At Work And In Life.

The authors make a case for the importance of a return to treating people well in American political life, maintaining that democracy cannot be sustained without public civility.

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How Artificial Intelligence Startups Are Helping Early Adopters Win
Thursday, September 13
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT
CIC Boston, 50 Milk Street, 20th Floor - Lighthouse West, Boston
RSVP at https:
www.eventbrite.com/e/machine-learning-superpowers-how-artificial-intelligence-startups-are-h elping-early-adopters-win-tickets-48692599877

Machine learning is transforming information work in almost every industry, with startups creating software that automates common tasks at a level of efficiency, accuracy, and insight that is literally superhuman.
We've brought together the leaders from several such startups, across a variety of industries, to each share insights from building a machine-learning powered product that is giving their customers superpowers. Each speaker will give a 5 minute lightning talk presentation, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

This kind of "narrow" AI is increasingly acheivable, and represents a classicly successful startup opportunity: being able to combine cutting-edge technology with expertise from a background in a particular industry. We hope this set of lightning talks will provide a jumpstart for founders & technologists that might see applications for machine learning in their own areas of interest, and a hot lead on a competitive advantage for company leaders in industries these startups are serving. Join us!
This event is part of the Tech & Industry Trends track at Startup Boston 2018.
Our Speakers:
Rich Palmer - Cofounder & CTO at Gravyty
Jacki Leahy - Director of Business Development at LinkSquares
Tomas Ratia - Cofounder & CEO at Frase

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Social Media Innovators: Shaping Voter Engagement to Online Civil Discourse
WHEN  Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018, 4:15 - 5:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Floor 2, Suite 200N, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION    Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR    The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
SPEAKER(S)  Deepti Doshi, Community Partnerships Director, Facebook; Victoria McCullough, Social Impact and Public Policy, Tumblr; and Sofia Gross, Political & Non-Profit Partnerships, Public Policy, Snap Inc
COST  Free
CONTACT INFO    info@ash.harvard.edu
DETAILS  Join Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellows Deepti Doshi, Community Partnerships Director, Facebook; Victoria McCullough, Social Impact and Public Policy, Tumblr; and Sofia Gross, Political & Non-Profit Partnerships, Public Policy, Snap Inc; for a discussion about the role of social media in voter engagement and civic discourse, including what social media organizations have been doing to make civic engagement easier and more enjoyable. Teresa Acuña, Associate Director of the Ash Center's Democratic Governance program, will moderate.
Refreshments will be provided.
LINK  https:
ash.harvard.edu/event/social-media-innovators-shaping-voter-engagement-online-civil-di scourse

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A book talk on Entrepreneurial Negotiation
WHEN  Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, WCC 2012, 1585 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION    Business, Education, Law
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR    The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
SPEAKER(S)  Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT and Samuel Dinnar, Mediator and Consultant
WRITTEN BY  Samuel Dinnar and Lawrence Susskind
CONTACT INFO    dlong@law.harvard.edu
DETAILS  Join us for a book talk on "Entrepreneurial Negotiation" by MIT Professor Lawrence Susskind, and Samuel Dinnar, mediator and negotiation consultant. The authors build on decades of research and practice accumulated in the real world and with the Program on Negotiation, to help entrepreneurs and those who deal with them create more value.

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Vision, AI and the human body
Thursday, September 13
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Draper, 1 Hampshire Street, Cambridge
RSVP at https:
www.meetup.com/boston-air/events/254413519

Let's get together, eat pizza and learn about vision, AI and the human body.

The meeting location at Draper, near Kendall Square. The entrance is on Broadway, between Hampshire Street and Galileo Way. (NOT THE MAIN ENTRANCE!). Agenda:

6:00 - 6:30: Networking & Pizza.
6:30 - 7:25: Speakers:
(1) Gian Carlo (Draper): Talk about his work Endoscopic Computer Vision.
(2) David Vader(Nine Point Medical) : Talk about work with ICT.
(3) TBD
7:25 - 7:35: 1 min pitches from audience. Need help? Looking for a job? Let us know. 7:35 on: More networking.

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One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy
Thursday September 13
6:30 pm
Brookline Library, 361 Washington Street, Brookline Village

Carol Anderson
In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

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Mobilizing Democracy: Creating Change through Digital Engagement
WHEN  Friday, Sep. 14, 2018, 12 - 1 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard, Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Floor 2, Suite 200N, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION    Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR    The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
SPEAKER(S)  Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellows Zach Graves, Head of Policy, Lincoln Network; Devin Murphy, Digital Strategist, Priorities USA and Founder, DTM Strategies; and Jess Morales Rocketto, Political Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
COST  Free
CONTACT INFO    info@ash.harvard.edu
DETAILS  Join Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellows Zach Graves, Head of Policy, Lincoln Network; Devin Murphy, Digital Strategist, Priorities USA and Founder, DTM Strategies; and Jess Morales Rocketto, Political Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; for an Ash Center Community Speaker Series event about mobilizing change and using technology to better serve constituents. Teresa Acuña, Associate Director of the Ash Center's Democratic Governance program, will moderate.
Lunch will be served.
LINK  https:/ash.harvard.edu/event/mobilizing-democracy-creating-change-through-digital-engagement

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Living in the Future: Brains!
Friday, September 14
6:00pm to 8:30pm (Doors open at 5:45 pm; presentations begin at 6:15 pm)
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
RSVP at https:
mitmuseum.mit.edu/program/living-future-brains
Cost:  $12 in advance, limited tickets may be available at the door for $15 (Includes pizza, soda, popcorn)

Where science fiction meets science reality

Can we bring back the dead? Control machines with our minds? Create human-like robots? Find out how today's neuroscience advances reflect what we've seen on-screen. Sit back, grab some pizza and popcorn, watch a short a clip from a science fiction movie, then hear from brainy scientists and inventors about how close Hollywood's hopes are to reality!

Presenters:
Andrei Barbu, Research Scientist, Center for Brains, Minds & Machines, MIT
Andres Salazar Gomez, Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT Open Learning
Michael Halassa, Assistant Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
Nataliya Kosmyna, Postdoctoral Fellow, Fluid Interfaces Lab, MIT
Hossein Rahnama, Visiting Assistant Professor, MIT

This event is presented in conjunction with The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

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Reinforcement Learning Systems at DeepMind
Tuesday, September 18
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Refreshments: 3:45 PM
MIT, Building 32-D463, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: David Budden , DeepMinds
Abstract: The many recent successes of deep reinforcement learning have resulted from innovation not just in algorithm design, but the co-development of systems capable of scaling to thousands of machines and leveraging specialized hardware.

In this seminar I will cover three topics:
A brief introduction to off-policy reinforcement learning and policy gradient methods
Recent algorithmic improvements underlying the D4PG agent for continuous control and robotics, e.g. distributional RL and prioritized experience replay
Architectures and open research questions in distributing agents across many machines

Constant iteration between algorithm design and systems engineering is a hallmark of the Research Engineering role at DeepMind, and through this seminar I also hope to give a flavor of what this entails day-to-day.

Bio: David Budden is a Research Engineering Team Lead and Tech Lead for DeepMind's Machine Learning team. Before joining DeepMind, he worked as a postdoc in CSAIL with Prof Nir Shavit.

David's research interests include generative models, few-shot imitation and self-supervised learning. His main passion however is the intersection of machine learning research and systems engineering. David prepared and teaches DeepMind's internal training courses on distributed machine learning, and helped develop many of their engineering systems (e.g. Control Suite, ApeX) and state-of-the-art reinforcement learning agents (e.g. D4PG, DQfD).

Contact: Joanne Talbot Hanley, 617-253-6054, joanne@csail.mit.edu

--------------------------------

Get Involved: Enter the Digital Universe of Your Tween/Teen
Thursday, September 20
12:00pm to 1:30pm
MIT, Building 76-156, 500 Main Street, Cambridge

Presenter: Jill Walsh, Ph.D., M.P.A.; Researcher and Lecturer, Boston University
It's no secret that digital technology and social media have an impact on our tweens and teens. But in what ways and to what effects? Why are they always on their phones? And what exactly is going on with Fortnite?

This seminar will outline the landscape of tween and teen digital media use, and provide insights for parents trying to navigate this world with them. Parents will leave understanding what draws their children to the digital space, and how to engage in productive conversations about technology consumption.

----------------------------

Making Robots Behave:  Doing for our robots what nature did for us
Monday, September 20
6:30 - 8pm
Aeronaut, 14 Tyler Street, Somerville

Dr Leslie Kaelbling

More information at http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/science-by-the-pint/

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The Science and the Engineering of Intelligence with Tomaso Poggio
Thursday, September 20
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MIT, Building 32-G449 (Kiva - Stata Center), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Deep learning and reinforcement learning are discoveries in neuroscience which contributed to recent successes in AI: AlphaGo and Mobileye.

To create artifacts as intelligent as we are, we need additional breakthroughs. Beginning with discussion of what they may be and where they may come from. I will argue that at the level of the hardware, biophysical properties of dendritic trees suggest more powerful nonlinearities than today's Rectified Linear Units (RELUs). At the level of the computation, basic aspects of visual intelligence require architectures beyond supervised and unsupervised learning. In the second half of the talk, I will sketch recent theoretical results, based on classical machine learning, to explain why deep networks work as well as they do.

Tomaso Poggio is one of the founders of computational neuroscience. He pioneered models of the fly's visual system and of human stereovision, introduced regularization theory to computational vision, made key contributions to the biophysics of computation and to learning theory, developed an influential model of recognition in the visual cortex and more recently a theory of invariant representations in sensory cortex.

He is the Eugene McDermott Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a founding member of the McGovern Institute, and is the director of the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM), a multi-institutional collaboration headquartered at the McGovern Institute. He joined the MIT faculty in 1981, after ten years at the Max Planck Institute for Biology and Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany. He received a Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Genoa. Poggio is a Foreign Member of the Italian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the 2014 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience.

The research in the Poggio Lab is guided by the belief that learning is at the core of the problem of intelligence, both biological and artificial. Learning is thus the gateway to understanding how the human brain works and for making intelligent machines. Thus, Poggio Lab studies the problem of learning within a multidisciplinary approach.

Current research in the Poggio Lab is relevant not only for understanding higher brain function, but also for the mathematical and computer applications of statistical learning. Three basic directions of research in his group are: mathematics of statistical learning theory, engineering applications (in computer vision, computer graphics, bioinformatics and intelligent search engines) and neuroscience of visual learning. (1) In the theory domain, he has focused on the foundations of learning theory and on a formal characterization of necessary and sufficient conditions for predictivity of learning. (2) The engineering applications include bioinformatics projects, computer vision for scene recognition and trainable, man-machines interfaces. (3) In the computational neuroscience area, his research is centered on object recognition and, in particular, on a quantitative theory of the ventral stream in the visual cortex underlying object recognition and object categorization. The theory and its computer implementation has become a tool for analyzing, interpreting and planning experiments in extensive collaborations with experimental neuro-scientists. This should lead to a better and more coherent understanding of the neural mechanisms of visual recognition and of the normal and abnormal functions of the cortex.

This talk will be webcast on the MIT CSAIL Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYs2iUgksAhgoidZwEAimmg/live beginning at 7pm.

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Molecular Robotics, 9th Annual Wyss International Symposium
WHEN  Friday, Sep. 21, 2018, 8:15 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
WHERE  Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION    Conferences, Health Sciences, Science, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR    Wyss Institute
SPEAKER(S)    
David Baker
George Church
Itai Cohen
Hendrik Dietz
Don Ingber
Yamuna Krishnan
Lulu Qian
Khalid Salaita
Rebecca Schulman
William Shih
Justin Werfel
Wesley Wong
Hao Yan
Peng Yin
David Zhang
COST  Free
TICKET WEB LINK  http://events.wyss.harvard.edu
CONTACT INFO    events@wyss.harvard.edu
DETAILS    
The 9th International Wyss Symposium will focus on new advances in the emerging field of Molecular Robotics, with the goal of sharing recent progress at the intersection of DNA nanotechnology, synthetic biology, robotics, and computer science, that could lead to programmable molecular machines as novel solutions for research and medicine.

--------------------------

Network Science - A Network of Sciences
Friday, September 21
3:00pm-4:00pm - Refreshments at 2:45pm
BU, 8 St. Mary's Street, PHO 211, Boston

Ariel Orda, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
Network Science is a newly emerging discipline with applications in a variety of domains, such as Communication Networks, Power Grid Networks, Transportation Networks, Social Networks and Biological Networks. Focusing on communication networks, we shall discuss what network science should be and what it should consist of. The talk will also feature some historical anecdotes, tracing back to ancient times.

Ariel Orda is the Herman & Gertrude Gross Professor at the Technion. He received his BSc (summa cum laude), MSc and PhD at the Technion. He is an IEEE Fellow. During 1.1.2014-12.31.2017, he served as the Dean of the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion. His research interests include network routing, the application of game theory to networking, survivability, QoS provisioning and wireless networks. He received several awards for research, teaching, and service.

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Not-so-big Data and Ebola Virus Disease
Monday, September 24
12:15PM TO 2:00PM
Harvard, CGIS South S050, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
RSVP at https:
/docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd7VGUkAvTU655Dub2FTGSNMjpVs6f8Qbu0kpmXh6oz11MgFw/viewform

Eugene T. Richardson, Harvard, HMS

The STS Circle at Harvard is a group of doctoral students and recent PhDs who are interested in creating a space for interdisciplinary conversations about contemporary issues in science and technology that are relevant to people in fields such as anthropology, history of science, sociology, STS, law, government, public policy, and the natural sciences. We want to engage not only those who are working on intersections of science, politics, and public policy, but also those in the natural sciences, engineering, and architecture who have serious interest in exploring these areas together with social scientists and humanists.

There has been growing interest among graduate students and postdocs at Harvard in more systematic discussions related to STS. More and more dissertation writers and recent graduates find themselves working on exciting topics that intersect with STS at the edges of their respective home disciplines, and they are asking questions that often require new analytic tools that the conventional disciplines don't necessarily offer. They would also like wider exposure to emerging STS scholarship that is not well-represented or organized at most universities, including Harvard. Our aim is to try to serve those interests through a series of activities throughout the academic year.

Sandwich lunches are provided. Please RSVP to via the online form by Wednesday at 5PM the week before.

The Harvard STS Circle is co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

sts@hks.harvard.edu

STS Circle at Harvard
http://sts.hks.harvard.edu/events/sts_circle/

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Starr Forum: The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies
Tuesday, September 25
4:30pm to 6:00pm
MIT, Building 10-250, 222 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

A book talk with Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA
Michael Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former director of the National Security Agency, principal deputy director of National Intelligence, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Hayden currently co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative.

Joining the conversation is Joel Brenner, former head of counterintelligence under the director of National Intelligence.

Brenner is former head of counterintelligence under the director of National Intelligence and was senior counsel at the National Security Agency. He is a research affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies.

Comments >> (3 comments)

Swedish elections today

by fjallstrom Sat Sep 8th, 2018 at 09:58:27 PM EST

Sweden goes to the polls today. With low unemployment, sinking murder rates and improving school results, if you believe statistics. However, a large portion of population, media and foreign media treats statistics as a foul conspiracy and is intending to make it about how immigration ruined Sweden.

frontpaged - Bjinse

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Theresa May: Dead Women Walking?

by Frank Schnittger Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 08:37:35 PM EST

Nothing undermines a leader more than having important members of their own side align themselves with the opposition: First Donald Trump rather pointedly remarked that Boris Johnson would make a great Prime Minister. Then Boris Johnson chips in that Theresa May's Chequers proposals represent the white flag of surrender.  Now Rees-Mogg praises Barnier for his charm and remarked that Barnier and Brexiteers are agreed that Theresa May's Chequers proposals are "absolute rubbish.".

How is the poor woman supposed to conduct a negotiation when her own side give such aid and comfort to the enemy? In a normal democracy, Johnson and Rees-Mogg would be excoriated for betraying their own side. But it seems anything goes when it comes to attacking Theresa May. She is the fall girl for a negotiation they are determined to see fail.

Their only problem is how to prevent her from calling a general election if her putative "deal" is voted down in the Commons: A General Election that would quite possibly usher in Jeremy Corbyn into No. 10. So the trick is to undermine her sufficiently to cause her to resign the leadership without going to the Country first. She must not be allowed to clinch a deal on which she could then launch a campaign.

Read more... (54 comments, 767 words in story)

Trump the Bullshitter

by Oui Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 07:29:16 AM EST

Troubling ... Donald is no Sitting Bull!

Making America Great Again -  or the downfall of the empire: fiddling while Rome burns.

The greater Middle East sitting on a powder keg.

More below the fold ...

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First Wind, Solar, Battery Utility Scale Energy Installation: Kennedy Energy Park

by gmoke Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 01:45:59 AM EST

"Kennedy Energy Park is a world-first wind, solar and energy storage facility located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland [Australia]. The project is owned by Windlab and Eurus. Construction has commenced and it will be generating by late 2018."

43 MW wind from 12 Vestas wind machines (67 meter/ 220 foot blade length)
15MW solar
2 MW/4 MWH battery

Kennedy Energy Park will generate around 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power  more than 35,000 average Australian homes.

https://kennedyenergypark.com.au

Comments >> (3 comments)

Went Missing In Norway

by Oui Mon Sep 3rd, 2018 at 05:38:13 AM EST

Missing Person - Rendition?

More below the fold ...

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Can a no deal Brexit be a good thing?

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 at 09:29:27 PM EST

Both sides in the Brexit negotiations have been hyping the risk of a no deal Brexit and becoming more explicit in discussing the economic damage it will do. This is to be expected  in the run up to the end of the negotiations, if only to soften up opponents of a deal.

"There is no alternative", Mrs. May can be expected to say if and when negotiators finally come to a deal: The economic consequences of no deal are too awful to contemplate, a point made clear by the publication of the first of 84 studies on the economic impact of a no deal Brexit.

All of this may very well be true, particularly in the short term. But are there longer term benefits to a no deal Brexit than can overcome any short term disadvantages? This is certainly the theory which arch-Brexiteers cling to when opposing the compromises any deal would entail.

They too can be suspected of tactical maneuvering, both to stiffen the resolve of British negotiators to hold out for a better deal, and to absolve themselves of any responsibility when any final, messy, compromise deal is done.

But let us take their objections at face value, for the moment, and examine their claim that a sovereign UK, free of any entanglement with the EU, could be much more successful, economically and politically, on the world stage.

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Revealed: Steele A Tool of FBI and CIA for Years

by Oui Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 at 12:20:12 AM EST

Corruption at the highest levels in Washington DC ... why I'm NOT surprised ... FBI and IC :)

American media are lapdogs of political elites | De Volkskrant - July 27, 2016 | [Dutch]

FBI Agents tried to flip Russian oligarch Deripaska to get to Trump | The New York Times |

In the estimation of American officials, Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin, has faced credible accusations of extortion, bribery and even murder.

They also thought he might make a good source.

Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant.

More below the fold ...

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Pakistan Warming Up Ties with Iran

by Oui Sat Sep 1st, 2018 at 02:50:14 AM EST

This is a major news story. Ever since the 9/11 attacks on America, Pakistan has carried the brunt of US harsh war policy in the AfPak region. The ties with the US has deteriorated ever since, also under the Obama administration. Harsh criticism by president Trump and threats has separated the two nations even further. In the meantime US relations with Saudi Arabia has created a new alliance with Israel to the detriment of the Palestinian people and its UNRWA refugees.

US confirms end to funding for UN Palestinian refugees | The Guardian |

More below the fold ...

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The aftermath of Pope Francis' visit to Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Mon Aug 27th, 2018 at 11:29:30 AM EST


Much lower than expected crowds show up for Pope Francis' Mass

Pope Francis' visit to Ireland, just concluded, was very different to that of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 1979, but it is very difficult to gauge it's significance in the immediate aftermath. The visit was dominated by the clerical child sexual abuse and cover-up scandals, and other scandals concerning Church run mother-and-baby homes, forced adoptions, and forced labour in Magdalen laundries. Pope Francis referred to these scandals in all four of his speeches and begged forgiveness for the Church's part in them.

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John McCain - Let's Not Forget

by Oui Sun Aug 26th, 2018 at 07:41:25 AM EST

Called by political foes (Democrats) and allies (Republicans) a friend and true American patriot.

A man of POOR judgment from participating in bombing North Vietnam as a Navy pilot under guidance from his father the Admiral and Commander of the Navy Fleet to the Keating Five as a politician.

McCain reached the age of 81 a lived a life that could have made a difference for America as a nation. His views and staunch support for the US military and an aggressive foreign policy did all but wreck the lives of many soldiers and "enemies" in war.

In the past twelve months I have lost dear friends due to the deadly disease. All of them not able to come to fulfillment of their young lives at age 24 - age 30 and a mother of a young family at age 45 just a week ago. There is no room for tears by  the passing of John McCain, a friend from Sarah Palin to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama amongst many.

Democrats have placed highest honor on John McCain as well as Henry Kissinger ... what choices do American voters have, really?

More below the fold ...

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May Concedes Negotiation Task

by Oui Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 07:56:27 AM EST

Stepping out of bounds with one-on-one talks with a few European counterparts before her holiday ... didn't lead to any advance.

PM May leaves negotiations where it belongs ... with Raab by Barnier in Brussels! Pressure cooker talks ... it's gonna be mighty difficult to get any clear deal before the transition period kicks in. EU wins another round.

But May can always follow friend Trump's advice: sue! Although I wonder if anyone should ever take his advice seriously looking at his predicament. Sinking deeper and deeper. Not a great partner to be tied down with to save Great Britain on trade and tariffs.

More below the fold ...

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May's Summer Summit Diplomacy

by Frank Schnittger Thu Aug 23rd, 2018 at 11:09:27 AM EST

Oui has an excellent diary up on the lack of progress made by May's summer diplomatic offensive trying to reset the Brexit negotiations and make her already "dead in the water" Chequers strategy the basis for future discussions. May managed to achieve an opening negotiating position 18 months too late, only to have it thrashed by her own side before she could even bring it to Europe.

In terms of a coherent negotiating strategy, May also got her timing all wrong. Having given Barnier his negotiating brief, European leaders were hardly going to undermine the Brussels negotiating process by overruling current EU negotiating positions.

Getting an agreed negotiating position among 27 nations and other significant actors is actually a considerable (if unsung) achievement: Why would EU leaders want to unravel all of that and throw their side of the negotiation into utter confusion, possibly precipitating Barnier's resignation, and playing into classic UK divide and conquer tactics?

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US Foreign Policy and CIA Masters

by Oui Sun Aug 19th, 2018 at 08:46:07 PM EST

US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus | The Guardian |

The bomb dropped on a school bus in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition warplane was sold to Riyadh by the US, according to reports based on analysis of the debris.

The 9 August attack killed 40 boys aged from six to 11 who were being taken on a school trip. Eleven adults also died and local authorities said 79 people were wounded, 56 of them children. CNN reported that the weapon used was a 227kg laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of many thousands sold to Saudi Arabia as part of billions of dollars of weapons exports.

Continued below the fold ...

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Pope Francis' visit to Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Fri Aug 17th, 2018 at 03:50:40 PM EST

Pope Francis is visiting Ireland on 25th. August for the World Meeting of families in what is the first Papal visit to Ireland since Pope John Paul II made a triumphal visit drawing massive crowds in 1979. The event will be a fitting barometer of how much Ireland has changed in the meantime.

Much smaller crowds are expected this time around, and his visit has become mired in controversy. First the World Meeting of Families removed all mention of "non traditional families" from all promotional material, and then there were doubts expressed whether he would have time to meet with survivors of clerical abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Even now it seems most unlikely he will meet with some of the more outspoken critics of the Catholic church such as Clerical abuse survivor Colm O'Gorman, or former President Mary McAleese - who was recent banned from speaking at a conference in the Vatican - which prompted the conference organizers to move the conference to just outside the Vatican.

The timing is also unfortunate, coming so soon after the successful referendum campaigns to legalize same sex marriage and to permit abortion in Ireland.

To cap it all, a grand Jury in Pennsylvania has just issued a report which accused hundreds of priests of abusing thousands of children in just 6 dioceses within Pennsylvania and Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston and Chair of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children,has just cancelled his attendance with the Pope in order to deal with a new crisis of seminarian abuse at one of his seminaries.

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Makkah Siege of 1979 - Turning Point in Saudi Arabia

by Oui Sun Aug 12th, 2018 at 09:22:33 AM EST

Pleasantly surprised by a four parts documentary on the history of the Middle East on Dutch television. Instead of the usual political propaganda, some excellent Arabists to narrate the story of Abdul Nasser from the Suez Crisis of 1956 - the War with Israel in 1967 up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979).

During the secular leadership of Nasser in Egypt during the 1950s, his effort to create equality for the masses through a Arab socialism with land reform got him much praise. Nasser gave people hope of independence from foreign influence. President Dwight Eisenhower played an important role during the Suez Crisis to make clear to the British and French that the era of their empires ended after World War II.

More below the fold ...

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Israel Lobby is Leading in Attack on Corbyn

by Oui Sat Aug 11th, 2018 at 11:00:32 AM EST

Well, my instinct and analysis wasn't far besides the truth ...

War On BDS, Progressive Left Under Attack
Gaza Politics: Controlling a Sustained Depravity

Article published on August 8th:

The Israel lobby is leading a witch hunt against Corbyn. It has to stop | Middle East Eye | by Richard Silverstein

Britain seems to be going through a period of ritual flagellation. The Labour Party is tearing itself apart in order to assuage charges of anti-Semitism that seem to rain down on it from all sides.

    In order to understand the true motivation
    behind Labour's anti-Semitism charges, it's
    important to focus less on the actual charges
    and more on the organisations making them

Continued below the fold ...

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After 35 Years, Iran Liquidates MKO Terrorist near Amsterdam

by Oui Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 07:01:05 PM EST

The historical event of a savage bombing inside Iran's new leadership after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The Pahlavi monarchy was ousted, kept in power for decades by foreign states: USA, UK and Israel (Mossad trained the Savak secret police). The occupation of the U.S. Embassy and hostage taking uncovered top secrets detrimental to both the CIA and Mossad. How the Reagan administration managed to make a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to keep the hostages imprisoned until after the presidential election of 1980 is one of the secrets of the "deep state" - Pentagon and IC (27 units).

In addition to the deal with Iran, delivering spare-parts needed to keep the Western purchased fighter planes in the air, the CIA used the proceeds to fund the right-wing extremists in Central America: El Salvador and Nicaragua. The military goods were delivered to Iran through emissaries of Israel.

Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, the President's former national security adviser, testified that he had approved diversion of the profits to the contras without ever telling President Reagan or anyone else.  

'The Buck Stops Here' | The New York Times - July 1987 |

A list of America's dirty wars with special forces training in Fort Bragg in the techniques of torture and effective guerrilla warfare.

Ten of the Most Lethal CIA Interventions in Latin America  | TeleSur |

More below the fold ...

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My Learning About Victor Klemperer

by Oui Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 08:13:14 PM EST

    "What is there that embodies the democratic, the German, the humane ideal?"
    Klemperer asked himself in his diary. For his own life, of course, he already
    knew the answer: it lay in the tireless curiosity, the questioning, the generous
    standards of debate of his heroes Voltaire and Montesquieu and of the other
    thinkers of the Enlightenment.

More below the fold ...

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Notes on The Language of the Third Reich

by gmoke Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 06:56:25 PM EST

I first learned of Victor Klemperer's The Language of the Third Reich in a column Mike Godwin of Godwin's Law ("As an online discussion continues, the probability of a comparison to Hitler or to Nazis approaches one") wrote in June 2018 in the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-godwin-godwins-law-20180624-story.html).

Godwin quoted Klemperer on how, at the beginning of the Nazi regime, he "was still so used to living in a state governed by the rule of law" that he couldn't imagine the horrors yet to come. "Regardless of how much worse it was going to get," he added, "everything which was later to emerge in terms of National Socialist attitudes, actions and language was already apparent in embryonic form in these first months."  Klemperer was, by training, a philologist, the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is a combination of literary criticism, history, and linguistics, and kept a diary throughout the Third Reich which I've always meant to read.

This is a good introduction to Klemperer and seems to be very apt in these days when the public discourse is full of misinformation, propaganda, and outright downright lies. Klemperer classified the language of the Third Reich as LTI [Lingua Tertii Imperii].  Very interesting book which I'm still digesting.  Thanks Mike Godwin.

Read more... (16 comments, 803 words in story)
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News and Views

 17 - 23 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 18, 72 comments

Your take on this week's news

 3 - 9 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 158 comments

Your take on this week's news

 September Open Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 22 comments

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet thread

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