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Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

stray shots 6/23

Are we forced to choose among these frameworks in order to conclude that our economy has generated vastly too wide a set of inequalities of wealth and income? No, we aren't, because these arguments are mutually supportive. A system of greater equality, regulated by a tax system designed for that purpose, would be more fair, more supportive of equality of opportunity, more harmonious, likely healthier, and likely happier. We have lots of good reasons for preferring greater equality of wealth and income and lots of good reasons to reject the "anything goes" philosophy.

Ḧow Much Inequality?

Sudanese security forces have broke up demonstrations across Khartoum as days of protests against government spending cuts expanded beyond the base of student activists who have dominated them so far, witnesses said. At least seven protests were reported across the capital after Friday prayers, including in several neighbourhoods that had been quiet, which marked a significant increase over previous days. As security forces gathered, the protesters called for the police to join them, chanting: "Oh police, oh police, how much is your salary and how much is a pound of sugar?" The police fired tear gas and then used batons as they clashed with the protesters, who threw rocks.

Anti-Austerity Protests Mount in Khartoum

Turing's 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem," articulated ideas that became technological bedrock: that any computable problem could be computed on a machine, with calculations controlled by means of encoded instructions; and that code, rather than machine, was the essence of a computer. With the right interface, Asteroids could conceivably be played on a computer made from DNA, the design of which is now being pursued by some 60 laboratories around the world.

Alan Turing´s Legacy Lives On

The status of artificial intelligence remains unsettled. We have many clever gadgets, but it’s not at all clear they add up to a “thinking machine.” Their methods and inner mechanisms seem nothing like human mental processes. Perhaps we should not be bragging about how smart our machines have become; rather, we should marvel at how much those machines accomplish without any genuine intelligence.

The Manifest Destiny of Artificial Intelligence

As prisoners fight for the most meager civil rights, book ownership may be at the heart of that struggle. In 1987, the Supreme Court decided that, "Prison walls do not form a barrier separating prison inmates from the protections of the Constitution," granting, even narrowly, a free speech right. In an earlier 1974 decision, the Court ruled that prisons are prohibited from censoring publications even when they are "inflammatory political, racial, religious or other views," or are "defamatory" or "otherwise inappropriate." Yet the whims and subjective views and values of prison mailrooms and censorship committees reign in some states.

What Paper Means In Prison