Google Employees Protest Secret Work on Censored Search Engine for China – The New York Times

Google employees have signed a letter protesting the company’s building of a censored search engine for China.CreditAly Song/Reuters

By Kate Conger and Daisuke Wakabayashi

阅 读简体中文版閱 讀繁體中文版

Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work.

In the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times, employees wrote that the project and Google’s apparent willingness to abide by China’s censorship requirements “raise urgent moral and ethical issues.” They added, “Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment.”

The letter is circulating on Google’s internal communication systems and is signed by about 1,400 employees, according to three people familiar with the document, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

…(read more).


BBC World Service – Newshour, Google Staff Criticise ‘Censored China Search Engine’

Hundreds of Google staff members are calling on the company to be more transparent over its plans to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, criticising their employer for making decisions in secret. Reports last month said Google had been working on the new Chinese service, referred to internally as ‘Dragonfly’.

Also in the programme: We hear from the first Indian citizen to go to into space; and the social media warning system saving lives in Syria.

(Picture: A laptop computer screen in Beijing shows the homepage of Google in January 2006. Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.)

Nukes: The Broadcast | Radiolab | WNYC Studios

October 4, 2017

( Photo Credit: Associated Press / Associated Press )

In this broadcast version of our Nukes episode, we tell the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who, in early August of 1945, had a run of the worst luck imaginable. A double blast of radiation left his future, and the future of his descendants, in doubt.

On the morning of August 6th, 1945, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a work trip. He was walking to the office when the first atomic bomb was dropped about a mile away. He survived, and eventually managed to get himself onto a train back to his hometown … Nagasaki. The very next morning, as he tried to convince his boss that a single bomb could destroy a whole city, the second bomb dropped. Sam Kean, whose latest book The Violinist’s Thumb scrutinizes the mysteries of our genetic code, tells Jad and Robert the incredible story of what happened to Tsutomu, explains how gamma rays shred DNA, and helps us understand how Tsutomu sidestepped a thousand year curse.

Then, we sit on the other side of the table and look at the protocol behind the country the dropped the bombs:

President Richard Nixon once boasted that at any moment he could pick up a telephone and – in 20 minutes – kill 60 million people. Such is the power of the US President over the nation’s nuclear arsenal. But what if you were the military officer on the receiving end of that phone call? Could you refuse the order?

In this segment, we profile one Air Force Major who asked that question back in the 1970s and learn how the very act of asking it was so dangerous it derailed his career. We also pick up the question ourselves and pose it to veterans both high and low on the nuclear chain of command. Their responses reveal once and for all whether there are any legal checks and balances between us and a phone call for Armageddon.

Musing about Losing Earth « RealClimate

Filed under:

— gavin @ 4 August 2018

The NY Times Magazine has a special issue this weekend on climate change. The main article is “Losing the Earth” by Nathaniel Rich, is premised on the idea that in the period 1979 to 1989 when we basically knew everything we needed to know that climate change was a risk, and the politics had not yet been polarized, we missed our opportunity to act. Stated this way, it would probably be uncontroversial, but since the article puts the blame for this on “human nature”, rather than any actual humans, extensive Twitter discussion ensues…

Before we link to some of the more thoughtful responses, a quick reminder that a lot of people read the NY Times magazine (far more than follow any climate scientists on Twitter or Facebook), and that as David Roberts at Vox has pointed out, having differently-told climate stories – even if they are manifestly imperfect, might help broaden the conversation and basic awareness that this is a story worth delving into. Secondly, the last big NY Times magazine story I remember related to climate was the execrable profile of Freeman Dyson – a fascinating topic in theory, but one which focused on the least interesting thing about him – a barely warmed up stew of stale climate skepticism.

The article itself is supported by a lot of background work, some visually stunning photography by George Steinmetz and lesson plans hosted by the Pulitzer Center.

…(read more).

India: Floods from Monsoon Rains Leave At Least 164 Dead + Philippines: Wave of Garbage Floods Manila After Heavy Rains + China: Typhoon Rumbia Makes Landfall in Shanghai

Aug 17, 2018

In India, officials say the death toll from devastating monsoon rains has risen to at least 164 amid flooding in the southern state of Kerala that have been described as the worst in nearly a century. Forecasters warn heavy rains will continue to fall throughout the weekend.

Aug 17, 2018

In the Philippines, cleanup crews battled against a literal wave of garbage, as flooding brought plastic bottles and other refuse into the streets of the capital Manila Thursday, following heavy rains last weekend.

Aug 17, 2018

Meanwhile, in China, more than 50,000 people evacuated Shanghai as Typhoon Rumbia made landfall Friday, bringing powerful winds and floods. It’s the 18th typhoon to affect China this year. The extreme weather comes as 2018 is on track to be one of the four hottest years on record, with greenhouse gas emissions driving up global temperatures.

How Seeds, Soil Life, GMOs and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria will Impact Your Famiilies’ Future

The Real Truth About Health
Published on Feb 20, 2016

Expert Panel Host: David Montgomery, Claire Cummings, Roger Greenlaw David Montgomery – Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it’s everywhere we go.

It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities.

However, we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter.

Learn how we are—and have long been—using up Earth’s soil.

Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations.

We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt.

The recent rise of organic and no-till farming offers hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.

Claire Hope Cummings – exposes the stories behind the rise of industrial agriculture and plant biotechnology, the fall of public interest science, and the folly of patenting seeds.

She examines how farming communities are coping with declining water, soil, and fossil fuels, as well as with new commercial technologies.

Will genetically engineered and “terminator” seeds lead to certain promise, as some have hoped, or are we embarking on a path of uncertain peril? Will the “doomsday vault” under construction in the Arctic, designed to store millions of seeds, save the genetic diversity of the world’s agriculture? To answer these questions and others, Cummings examines the plight of farmers who have planted transgenic seeds and scientists who have been persecuted for revealing the dangers of modified genes.

At each turn, Cummings looks deeply into the relationship between people and plants.

She examines the possibilities for both scarcity and abundance and tells the stories of local communities that are producing food and fuel sustainably and providing for the future.

The choices we make about how we feed ourselves now will determine whether or not seeds will continue as a generous source of sustenance and remain the common heritage of all humanity.

It comes down to this: whoever controls the future of seeds controls the future of life on earth.

This is a powerful reminder that what’s at stake right now is nothing less than the nature of the future.

Roger Greenlaw – “One of the unique outcomes I observe in my practice is when you treat the root cause of one condition, (obesity, heartburn and constipation caused by poor diet, inactivity and stress) many of the patient’s other conditions begin to improve simultaneously, (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and resting pulse).

When you treat one, you treat them all.

” Now at the end of a decade of treating patients with a holistic approach Greenlaw said he finds that almost all his patients are interested in lifestyle change.

“Most diseases in our society are lifestyle related, and therefore preventable and modifiable by self care.

”His recommendation to other practitioners is embrace the arrival of the age of Lifestyle Medicine and the modification of disease through self care and natural therapies.

“Lifestyle Medicine may be our best treatment ally yet to facilitate disease prevention, reversal and rehabilitation,” Greenlaw said.


He wrote a Story on the Worst Scenarios of Climate Change

Climate State
Published on Aug 1, 2018

The Uninhabitable Earth is a New York magazine article by American journalist David Wallace-Wells published on July 9, 2017. The long-form article depicts a worst-case scenario of what might happen in the future due to global warming.…

Release at NYMag The Uninhabitable Earth…

Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong…

David Wallace-Wells & Michael Mann (November 2017)

Michael Mann Responds to ‘Uninhabitable Earth’