RT @BoingBoing: Ray Bradbury’s FBI File

Michael from Muckrock writes, "The FBI followed Ray Bradbury's career very closely, in part because an informant warned them that his writing was not enjoyable fantasy, but rather tantamount to psychological warfare." "The general aim of these science fiction writers is to frighten the people into a state of paralysis or psychological incompetence bordering on hysteria," the informant warned. "Which would make it very possible to conduct a Third World War in which the American people would believe could not be won since their morale had seriously been destroyed."

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Valentino’s Ghost: Framing the Arab Image

In 1920s Hollywood, the Arab was a hero, as played by the iconic actor Rudolph Valentino in his "Sheik" movies. By the 1970s, Arabs and Muslims were depicted as embodiments of evil, not only in Hollywood films, but in children’s cartoons, the news, TV sitcoms, and even on radio. What happened? Valentino's Ghost examines the ways in which US foreign policy in the Middle East has changed the media's portrayals of Arabs and Muslims. Accused of bigotry towards Arabs and Muslims, American filmmakers are blamed for the bias which would never be applied to African-Americans, Jews, homosexuals, or any other minority group. This film lays bare the truths behind taboo subjects that are conspicuously avoided or merely treated as sound bites by the mainstream media.

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RT @caseyoppenheim: Scary reality: Google now has ability to manipulate elections, public opinion, Internet privacy and much

Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson . There are at least three very real scenarios whereby Google—perhaps even without its leaders’ knowledge—could shape or even decide the election next year. Whether or not Google executives see it this way, the employees who constantly adjust the search giant’s algorithms are manipulating people every minute of every day. The adjustments they make increasingly influence our thinking—including, it turns out, our voting preferences.

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RT @BanKillerRobots: “Saying “no one wants to create a Terminator” is not an argument; it’s more like saying “no one wants to get cancer” h…

Saying “no one wants to create a Terminator” is not an argument; it’s more like saying “no one wants to get cancer.” Yet just as one can reduce the chance of getting cancer by living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, and eating well, one can mitigate the chances of creating weaponized and intelligent systems by preventing an AI arms race between powerful countries with large militaries, and by taking a public stand about how many decisions are delegated to machines.

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‘Terrifying’ robot let loose in US woods (VIDEO)

The Atlas robot, as it is known, is certainly an imposing figure – it stands 1.88cm (6’2 feet) and weighs 150kg (330lb). However, plans for a terminator style invasion maybe on hold for the moment, as the robots certainly don’t have the movement of a T-800 or a T-1000 as seen in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. “We are making pretty good progress to make sure that it has mobility that is in shooting range of yours. I am not saying that it can do everything that you can do, but if we keep pushing it, we will get there,” Raibert added.

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