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Human Nature on Collision Course with Genetic Engineering …

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Nature on Collision Course with Genetic Engineering …
Aug 272015
 

Human Nature on Collision Course with Genetic Engineering

Human genetic engineering could be the next major battleground for the global conservation movement, according to a series of reports in the latest issue of World Watch magazine, published by the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. While previous struggles have involved protecting ecosystems and human societies from the unpredicted consequences of new technologies, this fight over high-risk applications of human genetic engineering is a struggle over who will decide what it means to be human.

Many countries have already banned reproductive cloning, and the U.N. is working on a global treaty to ban it, but even more powerful and much more dangerous are the related technologies to modify the genes we pass on to our children, says Ed Ayres, Editor of World Watch magazine. The contributors to this special issue call on the U.N. and national governments to ban the technology known as inheritable genetic modification.

Many uses of human genetic technology could be beneficial to society, but as political scientist Francis Fukuyama writes in the magazine, our understanding of the relationship between our genes and whatever improvements we might seek for our children (and their descendants) is dangerously deficient. Fukuyama warns that the victim of a failed experiment will not be an ecosystem, but a human child whose parents, seeking to give her greater intelligence, will saddle her with a greater propensity for cancer, or prolonged debility in old age, or some other completely unanticipated side effect that may emerge only after the experimenters have passed from the scene.

Human genetic engineering has ramifications that reach far beyond the life of a single child. Several contributors highlight the disastrous results of the last serious effort to engineer genetic perfection. In the early part of the 20th century, scientists and politicians in the United States relied on the alleged science of eugenics to justify the forced sterilization of tens of thousands of people who were judged to be feebleminded, mentally defective, or epileptics. Hitler passed his own sterilization law soon after taking office in 1933, heading down the path toward the Holocaust. The U.S. biotechnology industry-which dominates the global industry-has become an increasingly powerful economic and political force, with revenues growing fivefold between 1989 ($5 billion) and 2000 ($25 billion). Aided by the equally rapid revolution in computing, laboratories that once took two months to sequence 150 nucleotides can now process over 30 million in a day, and at a small fraction of the earlier cost. The number of patents pending for human DNA sequences has gone from 4,000 in 1991, to 500,000 in 1998, to several million today.

We are publishing this special issue because we dont want to lose the opportunity to decide openly and democratically how this rapidly developing technology is used, says Ayres. This isnt a fight about saving whales, or the last rain forests, or even the health of people living today. The question is whether we can save ourselves from ourselves, to know and respect what we do not know, and to put the breaks on potentially dangerous forms of human genetic engineering.

Excerpts from the authors of the Beyond Cloning issue of World Watch

About World Watch magazine: This bimonthly magazine is published by the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization, based in Washington, DC. Launched in 1988, the magazine has won the Alternative Press Award for investigative journalism, the Project Censored Award, and a number of Utne Reader awards. Recent editions have featured articles on the imminent disappearance of more than half of the worlds languages, airport sprawl, and the rapid growth of organic farming. Please visit: http://www.worldwatch.org/mag/.

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization that works for an environmentally sustainable and socially just society, in which the needs of all people are met without threatening the health of the natural environment or the well-being of future generations. By providing compelling, accessible, and fact-based analysis of critical global issues, Worldwatch informs people around the world about the complex interactions between people, nature, and economies. Worldwatch focuses on the underlying causes of and practical solutions to the worlds problems, in order to inspire people to demand new policies, investment patterns, and lifestyle choices. For more information, visit: http://www.worldwatch.org.

Disclaimer: Please note that the statement by eight leaders of environmental NGOs, which appears on page 25 of the magazine, represents the views of the individuals quoted, not necessarily of the organizations they lead.

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Human Nature on Collision Course with Genetic Engineering …

In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom

 Posthuman  Comments Off on In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom
Aug 222015
 

ABSTRACT. Positions on the ethics of human enhancement technologies can be (crudely) characterized as ranging from transhumanism to bioconservatism. Transhumanists believe that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves, and that parents should normally have the right to choose enhancements for their children-to-be. Bioconservatives (whose ranks include such diverse writers as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben) are generally opposed to the use of technology to modify human nature. A central idea in bioconservativism is that human enhancement technologies will undermine our human dignity. To forestall a slide down the slippery slope towards an ultimately debased posthuman state, bioconservatives often argue for broad bans on otherwise promising human enhancements. This paper distinguishes two common fears about the posthuman and argues for the importance of a concept of dignity that is inclusive enough to also apply to many possible posthuman beings. Recognizing the possibility of posthuman dignity undercuts an important objection against human enhancement and removes a distortive double standard from our field of moral vision.

Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades, and can be viewed as an outgrowth of secular humanism and the Enlightenment. It holds that current human nature is improvable through the use of applied science and other rational methods, which may make it possible to increase human health-span, extend our intellectual and physical capacities, and give us increased control over our own mental states and moods.[1] Technologies of concern include not only current ones, like genetic engineering and information technology, but also anticipated future developments such as fully immersive virtual reality, machine-phase nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

Transhumanists promote the view that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, and that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves (morphological freedom), and that parents should normally get to decide which reproductive technologies to use when having children (reproductive freedom).[2] Transhumanists believe that, while there are hazards that need to be identified and avoided, human enhancement technologies will offer enormous potential for deeply valuable and humanly beneficial uses. Ultimately, it is possible that such enhancements may make us, or our descendants, posthuman, beings who may have indefinite health-spans, much greater intellectual faculties than any current human being and perhaps entirely new sensibilities or modalities as well as the ability to control their own emotions. The wisest approach vis–vis these prospects, argue transhumanists, is to embrace technological progress, while strongly defending human rights and individual choice, and taking action specifically against concrete threats, such as military or terrorist abuse of bioweapons, and against unwanted environmental or social side-effects.

In opposition to this transhumanist view stands a bioconservative camp that argues against the use of technology to modify human nature. Prominent bioconservative writers include Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben. One of the central concerns of the bioconservatives is that human enhancement technologies might be dehumanizing. The worry, which has been variously expressed, is that these technologies might undermine our human dignity or inadvertently erode something that is deeply valuable about being human but that is difficult to put into words or to factor into a cost-benefit analysis. In some cases (e.g. Leon Kass) the unease seems to derive from religious or crypto-religious sentiments whereas for others (e.g. Francis Fukuyama) it stems from secular grounds. The best approach, these bioconservatives argue, is to implement global bans on swathes of promising human enhancement technologies to forestall a slide down a slippery slope towards an ultimately debased posthuman state.

While any brief description necessarily skirts significant nuances that differentiate writers within the two camps, I believe the above characterization nevertheless highlights a principal fault lines in one of the great debates of our times: how we should look at the future of humankind and whether we should attempt to use technology to make ourselves more than human. This paper will distinguish two common fears about the posthuman and argue that they are partly unfounded and that, to the extent that they correspond to real risks, there are better responses than trying to implement broad bans on technology. I will make some remarks on the concept of dignity, which bioconservatives believe to be imperiled by coming human enhancement technologies, and suggest that we need to recognize that not only humans in their current form, but posthumans too could have dignity.

The prospect of posthumanity is feared for at least two reasons. One is that the state of being posthuman might in itself be degrading, so that by becoming posthuman we might be harming ourselves. Another is that posthumans might pose a threat to ordinary humans. (I shall set aside a third possible reason, that the development of posthumans might offend some supernatural being.)

The most prominent bioethicist to focus on the first fear is Leon Kass:

Most of the given bestowals of nature have their given species-specified natures: they are each and all of a given sort. Cockroaches and humans are equally bestowed but differently natured. To turn a man into a cockroachas we dont need Kafka to show uswould be dehumanizing. To try to turn a man into more than a man might be so as well. We need more than generalized appreciation for natures gifts. We need a particular regard and respect for the special gift that is our own given nature[3]

Transhumanists counter that natures gifts are sometimes poisoned and should not always be accepted. Cancer, malaria, dementia, aging, starvation, unnecessary suffering, cognitive shortcomings are all among the presents that we wisely refuse. Our own species-specified natures are a rich source of much of the thoroughly unrespectable and unacceptable susceptibility for disease, murder, rape, genocide, cheating, torture, racism. The horrors of nature in general and of our own nature in particular are so well documented[4] that it is astonishing that somebody as distinguished as Leon Kass should still in this day and age be tempted to rely on the natural as a guide to what is desirable or normatively right. We should be grateful that our ancestors were not swept away by the Kassian sentiment, or we would still be picking lice off each others backs. Rather than deferring to the natural order, transhumanists maintain that we can legitimately reform ourselves and our natures in accordance with humane values and personal aspirations.

If one rejects nature as a general criterion of the good, as most thoughtful people nowadays do, one can of course still acknowledge that particular ways of modifying human nature would be debasing. Not all change is progress. Not even all well-intended technological intervention in human nature would be on balance beneficial. Kass goes far beyond these truisms however when he declares that utter dehumanization lies in store for us as the inevitable result of our obtaining technical mastery over our own nature:

the final technical conquest of his own nature would almost certainly leave mankind utterly enfeebled. This form of mastery would be identical with utter dehumanization. Read Huxleys Brave New World, read C. S. Lewiss Abolition of Man, read Nietzsches account of the last man, and then read the newspapers. Homogenization, mediocrity, pacification, drug-induced contentment, debasement of taste, souls without loves and longings these are the inevitable results of making the essence of human nature the last project of technical mastery. In his moment of triumph, Promethean man will become a contented cow.[5]

The fictional inhabitants of Brave New World, to pick the best-known of Kasss examples, are admittedly short on dignity (in at least one sense of the word). But the claim that this is the inevitable consequence of our obtaining technological mastery over human nature is exceedingly pessimistic and unsupported if understood as a futuristic prediction, and false if construed as a claim about metaphysical necessity.

There are many things wrong with the fictional society that Huxley described. It is static, totalitarian, caste-bound; its culture is a wasteland. The brave new worlders themselves are a dehumanized and undignified lot. Yet posthumans they are not. Their capacities are not super-human but in many respects substantially inferior to our own. Their life expectancy and physique are quite normal, but their intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual faculties are stunted. The majority of the brave new worlders have various degrees of engineered mental retardation. And everyone, save the ten world controllers (along with a miscellany of primitives and social outcasts who are confined to fenced preservations or isolated islands), are barred or discouraged from developing individuality, independent thinking and initiative, and are conditioned not to desire these traits in the first place. Brave New World is not a tale of human enhancement gone amok but a tragedy of technology and social engineering being used to deliberately cripple moral and intellectual capacities the exact antithesis of the transhumanist proposal.

Transhumanists argue that the best way to avoid a Brave New World is by vigorously defending morphological and reproductive freedoms against any would-be world controllers. History has shown the dangers in letting governments curtail these freedoms. The last centurys government-sponsored coercive eugenics programs, once favored by both the left and the right, have been thoroughly discredited. Because people are likely to differ profoundly in their attitudes towards human enhancement technologies, it is crucial that no one solution be imposed on everyone from above but that individuals get to consult their own consciences as to what is right for themselves and their families. Information, public debate, and education are the appropriate means by which to encourage others to make wise choices, not a global ban on a broad range of potentially beneficial medical and other enhancement options.

The second fear is that there might be an eruption of violence between unaugmented humans and posthumans. George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario Isasi have argued that we should view human cloning and all inheritable genetic modifications as crimes against humanity in order to reduce the probability that posthuman species will arise, on grounds that such a species would pose an existential threat to the old human species:

The new species, or posthuman, will likely view the old normal humans as inferior, even savages, and fit for slavery or slaughter. The normals, on the other hand, may see the posthumans as a threat and if they can, may engage in a preemptive strike by killing the posthumans before they themselves are killed or enslaved by them. It is ultimately this predictable potential for genocide that makes species-altering experiments potential weapons of mass destruction, and makes the unaccountable genetic engineer a potential bioterrorist.[6]

There is no denying that bioterrorism and unaccountable genetic engineers developing increasingly potent weapons of mass destruction pose a serious threat to our civilization. But using the rhetoric of bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction to cast aspersions on therapeutic uses of biotechnology to improve health, longevity and other human capacities is unhelpful. The issues are quite distinct. Reasonable people can be in favor of strict regulation of bioweapons while promoting beneficial medical uses of genetics and other human enhancement technologies, including inheritable and species-altering modifications.

Human society is always at risk of some group deciding to view another group of humans as fit for slavery or slaughter. To counteract such tendencies, modern societies have created laws and institutions, and endowed them with powers of enforcement, that act to prevent groups of citizens from enslaving or slaughtering one another. The efficacy of these institutions does not depend on all citizens having equal capacities. Modern, peaceful societies can have large numbers of people with diminished physical or mental capacities along with many other people who may be exceptionally physically strong or healthy or intellectually talented in various ways. Adding people with technologically enhanced capacities to this already broad distribution of ability would not need to rip society apart or trigger genocide or enslavement.

The assumption that inheritable genetic modifications or other human enhancement technologies would lead to two distinct and separate species should also be questioned. It seems much more likely that there would be a continuum of differently modified or enhanced individuals, which would overlap with the continuum of as-yet unenhanced humans. The scenario in which the enhanced form a pact and then attack the naturals makes for exciting science fiction but is not necessarily the most plausible outcome. Even today, the segment containing the tallest ninety percent of the population could, in principle, get together and kill or enslave the shorter decile. That this does not happen suggests that a well-organized society can hold together even if it contains many possible coalitions of people sharing some attribute such that, if they ganged up, they would be capable of exterminating the rest.

To note that the extreme case of a war between humans and posthumans is not the most likely scenario is not to say that there are no legitimate social concerns about the steps that may take us closer to posthumanity. Inequity, discrimination, and stigmatization against, or on behalf of, modified people could become serious issues. Transhumanists would argue that these (potential) social problems call for social remedies. One example of how contemporary technology can change important aspects of someones identity is sex reassignment. The experiences of transsexuals show that Western culture still has work to do in becoming more accepting of diversity. This is a task that we can begin to tackle today by fostering a climate of tolerance and acceptance towards those who are different from ourselves. Painting alarmist pictures of the threat from future technologically modified people, or hurling preemptive condemnations of their necessarily debased nature, is not the best way to go about it.

What about the hypothetical case in which someone intends to create, or turn themselves into, a being of so radically enhanced capacities that a single one or a small group of such individuals would be capable of taking over the planet? This is clearly not a situation that is likely to arise in the imminent future, but one can imagine that, perhaps in a few decades, the prospective creation of superintelligent machines could raise this kind of concern. The would-be creator of a new life form with such surpassing capabilities would have an obligation to ensure that the proposed being is free from psychopathic tendencies and, more generally, that it has humane inclinations. For example, a future artificial intelligence programmer should be required to make a strong case that launching a purportedly human-friendly superintelligence would be safer than the alternative. Again, however, this (currently) science-fiction scenario must be clearly distinguished from our present situation and our more immediate concern with taking effective steps towards incrementally improving human capacities and health-span.

Human dignity is sometimes invoked as a polemical substitute for clear ideas. This is not to say that there are no important moral issues relating to dignity, but it does mean that there is a need to define what one has in mind when one uses the term. Here, we shall consider two different senses of dignity:

On both these definitions, dignity is something that a posthuman could possess. Francis Fukuyama, however, seems to deny this and warns that giving up on the idea that dignity is unique to human beings defined as those possessing a mysterious essential human quality he calls Factor X[8] would invite disaster:

Denial of the concept of human dignity that is, of the idea that there is something unique about the human race that entitles every member of the species to a higher moral status than the rest of the natural world leads us down a very perilous path. We may be compelled ultimately to take this path, but we should do so only with our eyes open. Nietzsche is a much better guide to what lies down that road than the legions of bioethicists and casual academic Darwinians that today are prone to give us moral advice on this subject.[9]

What appears to worry Fukuyama is that introducing new kinds of enhanced person into the world might cause some individuals (perhaps infants, or the mentally handicapped, or unenhanced humans in general) to lose some of the moral status that they currently possess, and that a fundamental precondition of liberal democracy, the principle of equal dignity for all, would be destroyed.

The underlying intuition seems to be that instead of the famed expanding moral circle, what we have is more like an oval, whose shape we can change but whose area must remain constant. Thankfully, this purported conservation law of moral recognition lacks empirical support. The set of individuals accorded full moral status by Western societies has actually increased, to include men without property or noble decent, women, and non-white peoples. It would seem feasible to extend this set further to include future posthumans, or, for that matter, some of the higher primates or human-animal chimaeras, should such be created and to do so without causing any compensating shrinkage in another direction. (The moral status of problematic borderline cases, such as fetuses or late-stage Alzheimer patients, or the brain dead, should perhaps be decided separately from the issue of technologically modified humans or novel artificial life forms.) Our own role in this process need not be that of passive bystanders. We can work to create more inclusive social structures that accord appropriate moral recognition and legal rights to all who need them, be they male or female, black or white, flesh or silicon.

Dignity in the second sense, as referring to a special excellence or moral worthiness, is something that current human beings possess to widely differing degrees. Some excel far more than others do. Some are morally admirable; others are base and vicious. There is no reason for supposing that posthuman beings could not also have dignity in this second sense. They may even be able to attain higher levels of moral and other excellence than any of us humans. The fictional brave new worlders, who were subhuman rather than posthuman, would have scored low on this kind of dignity, and partly for that reason they would be awful role models for us to emulate. But surely we can create more uplifting and appealing visions of what we may aspire to become. There may be some who would transform themselves into degraded posthumans but then some people today do not live very worthy human lives. This is regrettable, but the fact that some people make bad choices is not generally a sufficient ground for rescinding peoples right to choose. And legitimate countermeasures are available: education, encouragement, persuasion, social and cultural reform. These, not a blanket prohibition of all posthuman ways of being, are the measures to which those bothered by the prospect of debased posthumans should resort. A liberal democracy should normally permit incursions into morphological and reproductive freedoms only in cases where somebody is abusing these freedoms to harm another person.

The principle that parents should have broad discretion to decide on genetic enhancements for their children has been attacked on grounds that this form of reproductive freedom would constitute a kind of parental tyranny that would undermine the childs dignity and capacity for autonomous choice; for instance, by Hans Jonas:

Technological mastered nature now again includes man who (up to now) had, in technology, set himself against it as its master But whose power is this and over whom or over what? Obviously the power of those living today over those coming after them, who will be the defenseless other side of prior choices made by the planners of today. The other side of the power of today is the future bondage of the living to the dead.[10]

Jonas is relying on the assumption that our descendants, who will presumably be far more technologically advanced than we are, would nevertheless be defenseless against our machinations to expand their capacities. This is almost certainly incorrect. If, for some inscrutable reason, they decided that they would prefer to be less intelligent, less healthy, and lead shorter lives, they would not lack the means to achieve these objectives and frustrate our designs.

In any case, if the alternative to parental choice in determining the basic capacities of new people is entrusting the childs welfare to nature, that is blind chance, then the decision should be easy. Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder. And transhumanists can accept, of course, that just as society may in exceptional circumstances override parental autonomy, such as in cases of neglect or abuse, so too may society impose regulations to protect the child-to-be from genuinely harmful genetic interventions but not because they represent choice rather than chance.

Jrgen Habermas, in a recent work, echoes Jonas concern and worries that even the mere knowledge of having been intentionally made by another could have ruinous consequences:

We cannot rule out that knowledge of ones own hereditary features as programmed may prove to restrict the choice of an individuals life, and to undermine the essentially symmetrical relations between free and equal human beings.[11]

A transhumanist could reply that it would be a mistake for an individual to believe that she has no choice over her own life just because some (or all) of her genes were selected by her parents. She would, in fact, have as much choice as if her genetic constitution had been selected by chance. It could even be that she would enjoy significantly more choice and autonomy in her life, if the modifications were such as to expand her basic capability set. Being healthy, smarter, having a wide range of talents, or possessing greater powers of self-control are blessings that tend to open more life paths than they block.

Even if there were a possibility that some genetically modified individuals might fail to grasp these points and thus might feel oppressed by their knowledge of their origin, that would be a risk to be weighed against the risks incurred by having an unmodified genome, risks that can be extremely grave. If safe and effective alternatives were available, it would be irresponsible to risk starting someone off in life with the misfortune of congenitally diminished basic capacities or an elevated susceptibility to disease.

Similarly ominous forecasts were made in the seventies about the severe psychological damage that children conceived through in vitro fertilization would suffer upon learning that they originated from a test tube a prediction that turned out to be entirely false. It is hard to avoid the impression that some bias or philosophical prejudice is responsible for the readiness with which many bioconservatives seize on even the flimsiest of empirical justifications for banning human enhancement technologies of certain types but not others. Suppose it turned out that playing Mozart to pregnant mothers improved the childs subsequent musical talent. Nobody would argue for a ban on Mozart-in-the-womb on grounds that we cannot rule out that some psychological woe might befall the child once she discovers that her facility with the violin had been prenatally programmed by her parents. Yet when it comes to e.g. genetic enhancements, arguments that are not so very different from this parody are often put forward as weighty if not conclusive objections by eminent bioconservative writers. To transhumanists, this looks like doublethink. How can it be that to bioconservatives almost any anticipated downside, predicted perhaps on the basis of the shakiest pop-psychological theory, so readily achieves that status of deep philosophical insight and knockdown objection against the transhumanist project?

Perhaps a part of the answer can be found in the different attitudes that transhumanists and bioconservatives have towards posthuman dignity. Bioconservatives tend to deny posthuman dignity and view posthumanity as a threat to human dignity. They are therefore tempted to look for ways to denigrate interventions that are thought to be pointing in the direction of more radical future modifications that may eventually lead to the emergence of those detestable posthumans. But unless this fundamental opposition to the posthuman is openly declared as a premiss of their argument, this then forces them to use a double standard of assessment whenever particular cases are considered in isolation: for example, one standard for germ-line genetic interventions and another for improvements in maternal nutrition (an intervention presumably not seen as heralding a posthuman era).

Transhumanists, by contrast, see human and posthuman dignity as compatible and complementary. They insist that dignity, in its modern sense, consists in what we are and what we have the potential to become, not in our pedigree or our causal origin. What we are is not a function solely of our DNA but also of our technological and social context. Human nature in this broader sense is dynamic, partially human-made, and improvable. Our current extended phenotypes (and the lives that we lead) are markedly different from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. We read and write; we wear clothes; we live in cities; we earn money and buy food from the supermarket; we call people on the telephone, watch television, read newspapers, drive cars, file taxes, vote in national elections; women give birth in hospitals; life-expectancy is three times longer than in the Pleistocene; we know that the Earth is round and that stars are large gas clouds lit from inside by nuclear fusion, and that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old and enormously big. In the eyes of a hunter-gatherer, we might already appear posthuman. Yet these radical extensions of human capabilities some of them biological, others external have not divested us of moral status or dehumanized us in the sense of making us generally unworthy and base. Similarly, should we or our descendants one day succeed in becoming what relative to current standards we may refer to as posthuman, this need not entail a loss dignity either.

From the transhumanist standpoint, there is no need to behave as if there were a deep moral difference between technological and other means of enhancing human lives. By defending posthuman dignity we promote a more inclusive and humane ethics, one that will embrace future technologically modified people as well as humans of the contemporary kind. We also remove a distortive double standard from the field of our moral vision, allowing us to perceive more clearly the opportunities that exist for further human progress.[12]

[1] N. Bostrom et al. 2003. The Transhumanist FAQ, v. 2.1. World Transhumanist Association. Webpage: http://www.transhumanism.org/resources/faq.html.

Homepage: http://www.nickbostrom.com

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In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom

Software-update: Tor Browser 5.0.1 – Computer – Downloads – Tweakers

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Software-update: Tor Browser 5.0.1 – Computer – Downloads – Tweakers
Aug 212015
 

Verleden week is versie 5.0 van Tor Browser is uitgekomen en inmiddels is er ook al een update verschenen. Tor staat voor The Onion Router en is een netwerk dat gebruikt kan worden om redelijk anoniem over internet te surfen. Al het tcp-verkeer van gebruikers wordt langs verschillende Tor-routers geleid, waarna het voor de ontvanger vrijwel niet meer mogelijk is om na te gaan wie de oorspronkelijke verzender was. Binnen het Tor-netwerk is die informatie nog wel aanwezig, zodat antwoorden, uiteraard ook weer via het stelsel van routers, uiteindelijk weer op de juiste plek aankomen.

Nieuw in versie 5.0, die opExtended Support Release versie 38.2 van Firefox is gebaseerd, is onder meer dat updatesautomatisch op de achtergrond opgehaald kunnen worden.

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This release also brings us up to date with Firefox 38-ESR, which should mean improved support for HTML5 video on Youtube, as well as a host of other improvements. Controversial and hard-to-audit binary components related to EME DRM were disabled, however.

The release also features new privacy enhancements. In particular, more identifier sources that appeared in Firefox 38 (or were otherwise disabled previously) are now isolated to the first party (URL bar) domain. This release also contains defenses from the 5.0-alpha series for keystroke (typing) fingerprinting and some instances of performance/timing fingerprinting.

Regrettably, our new defenses for font and keyboard layout fingerprinting did not stabilize in time for this release. Users who are interested in helping us improve them should try out 5.5a1.

This release also will reset the permanent NoScript whitelist, due to an issue where previous NoScript updates had added certain domains to the whitelist during upgrade. The whitelist is reset to the default for all users as a result, and future updates to the whitelist by NoScript have been disabled.

Starting with this release, Tor Browser will now also download and apply upgrades in the background, to ensure that users upgrade quicker and with less interaction. This behavior is governed by the about:config pref app.update.auto, but we do not recommend disabling it unless you really know what you’re doing. Here is the complete changelog since 4.5.3:

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Software-update: Tor Browser 5.0.1 – Computer – Downloads – Tweakers

SEO Marketing 6 Things to Understand | Inc.com

 SEO  Comments Off on SEO Marketing 6 Things to Understand | Inc.com
Aug 202015
 

In the world of online marketing, misinformation abounds–and it gets compounded exponentially by an incredibly dynamic and rapidly evolving world. Most of the things you think you know (but don’t) about search-engine optimization, or SEO, may have been true a few years ago but have changed; one of the following was always a myth.

Here are some of the myths you need to move beyond to get smarter about SEO.

Myth 1: Metatag Descriptions Help Your Rankings

Not anymore; in fact, metatags are no longer even indexed by Google and Bing. But don’t ignore them altogether: Your metatags form the text that is displayed along with your link in the search results–and a more compelling description will compel more users to click on your listing instead of on others.

Here’s example of ours; the metatag is everything below the URL.

Myth 2: The More Inbound Links, the Better

False. In all the recent updates to Google’s algorithm, the search giant has made it a core priority to have quality trump quantity. Gone are the days of having thousands of superlow-quality links driving up rankings; in fact, creating those links can look spammy and get your site penalized.

Focus on obtaining links from sites that are relevant to your products, services, or industry–and on having those links be surrounded by relevant text. A blog review about your “blue widget” that links to your site is far more valuable than a rogue link for “blue widget” stuck in the footer or sidebar of some site–even a highly ranked one.

Myth 3: PageRank Still Matters

Google’s infamous PageRank (named after Google co-founder and now-CEO Larry Page, mind you) is a 1-to-10 ranking of the overall authority of every website; the bigger the number, the higher the rank. In years past, this seemingly all-powerful number dominated the attention of SEO experts.

But today, Google’s algorithm has evolved well beyond any single indicator. The PageRank still exists, and if all things are equal, a higher PageRank trumps a lower one–but factors such as relevance and context matter, too.

As with inbound links: If you run a dental practice in Los Angeles, it’s better to have a link from a site that reviews doctors and dentists in L.A., even if it has a PageRank of 4, than to have a paid link with no context in a huge site with a higher PageRank of 7.

Myth 4: Google Prefers Keyword-Rich Domains

In years past, Google seemed to put a disproportionate amount of emphasis on keywords in the domain name (what you may think of as the URL). For example, vinylhousesiding.com would almost certainly be ranked first in a search for vinyl house siding.

Not anymore, says Google. If vinylhousesiding.com is in fact the more relevant, authoritative site on the topic, it will probably still rank first–but not because of its domain name alone.

Myth 5: Websites Must Be ‘Submitted’ to Search Engines

In 2001, yes, this was the case–indeed, this was the first service that my company, Wpromote, ever provided. But in 2012? Not at all. At this point, if there is any connection from any site to yours, your site will be quickly discovered by Google.

Note that being indexed is a far cry from achieving high rankings–but that initial step of submission is no longer needed or helpful.

Myth 6: Good SEO Is Basically About Trickery

False, false, false. Although there are still some SEO experts out there who go about their business trying to “trick Google,” this is absolutely not the way to provide good, lasting SEO.

Good SEO is about creating a relevant, informative website, with unique content and great user experience, and encouraging the sharing and distribution of great content to drive organic publicity and links back to your site.

In the end, this is exactly what Google explicitly wants to reward with high rankings–so it is anything but “tricking” the search engines.

I’m planning to dive into other online marketing topics in the future, to find the biggest myths–so if you’ve got suggestions, please weigh in below.

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SEO Marketing 6 Things to Understand | Inc.com

Beginner’s Guide to Mining Bitcoin

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Beginner’s Guide to Mining Bitcoin
Aug 192015
 

One of the biggest problems I ran into when I was looking to start mining Bitcoin for investment and profit was most of the sites were written for the advanced user. I am not a professional coder, I have no experience with Ubuntu, Linux and minimal experience with Mac. So, this is for the individual or group that wants to get started the easy way.

First thing you need to do is get a Bitcoin Wallet. Because Bitcoin is an internet based currency, you need a place to keep your Bitcoins. Got to http://www.bitcoin.org and download the Bitcoin client for your Operating System. Install it the client will begin to download the blockchain. Downloading the blockchain can take a long time and will be over 6GB of data. If you have data caps, I would recommend ordering a copy of the blockchain on DVD to keep from going over as it is growing exponentially. Click to order the bitcoin blockchain by mail. Once the client is up to date, click New to get your wallet address. It will be a long sequence of letters and numbers. One of most important things you can do is make sure you have a copy of the wallet.dat file on a thumb drive and print a copy out and keep it in a safe location. You can view a tutorial on how to create a secure wallet by clicking the link on the top of the page. The reason is that if you computer crashes and you do not have a copy of your wallet.dat file, you will lose all of your Bitcoins. They wont go to someone else, they will disappear forever. It is like burning cash.

Now that you have a wallet and the client, you are probably roaring to go, but if you actually want to make Bitcoin (money), you probably need to join a pool. A pool is a group that combines their computing power to make more Bitcoins. The reason you shouldnt go it alone is that Bitcoins are awarded in blocks, usually 50 at a time, and unless you get extremely lucky, you will not be getting any of those coins. In a pool, you are given smaller and easier algorithms to solve and all of your combined work will make you more likely to solve the bigger algorithm and earn Bitcoins that are spread out throughout the pool based on your contribution. Basically, you will make a more consistent amount of Bitcoins and will be more likely to receive a good return on your investment.

The pool that Im involved in is called Slushs Pool so I will be giving instructions on how to join there but feel free to look at other options. Follow the link to go to their site and click the Sign up here link at the top of their site and follow their step by step instructions. After you have your account set up, you will need to add a Worker. Basically, for every miner that you have running, you will need to have a worker ID so the pool can keep track of your contributions.

If you are mining with an ASIC, please go to our Mining with ASICs page. The following will only pertain to GPU miners.

Most of the mining programs out there are pretty complicated to setup and will frustrate your average user. Recently a great program has come out to get the most basic of users started. The program is called GUIMiner. Click the link and download the program (Be careful, some of the ads are set up to look like the file download). Install and run the program and add in your information from Slushs Pool. Remember that the user name is actually the worker name. The worker name will be your user name, dot, worker ID (username.worker ID) and the password from that worker ID.

Mac users should look into using Astroid

Now that you are set up, you can start mining. If you feel like you want to make more Bitcoins, you might want to invest in mining hardware.

To see how much your current hardware will earn mining Bitcoins, head over to the Bitcoin Profitability Calculator.

If you found this information helpful, please donate to 1G1ehppEgjiFTUSHFz2xs9KLSQuWLPYF2o

Originally posted here:
Beginner’s Guide to Mining Bitcoin

Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …
Aug 172015
 

TEXANS, ITS TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS THE TRUTH

I know that this article will catch lots of grief and criticism, but I and millions of Texans are fed up with the rhetoric, misleading reporting, and just plain naivete or stupidity of the press in the handling of Obama and the present Islamist situation we have in this world.

Every day we actually watch the truth of the Muslim world on TV. My God, when you see it, how can you not believe it? Radical Islam has declared war worldwide! Now, from Bill OReilly to our local news reporters, everyone – including the retired generals interviewed about the subject – all say the same thing: We cannot understand why Obama does not do more about the violence from Islamist radicals. We dont understand why Obama will not engage. Why does Obama want to raise taxes and continue to write mandates through executive orders that harm America? All I hear is that he is a good family man, and nice guy, and maybe he just doesnt understand.

Fellow Texans, he not only understands, but he knows exactly what he is doing! Did you read his book Dreams From My Father? He hates America! He hates a red Texas. He is a supporter of the Muslim religion. He orchestrated the Arab Spring and covered it up with a move for democracy. Those countries wouldnt know democracy if they stepped in it! It was a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and was supported by Obama. The political correctness and nice guy reporting must stop, and people better wake the hell up because we are sliding into a cesspool that we will never get out of.

Obama is a socialist, Islamist apologist, America-hating radical who is pulling off what he told all of us when he got elected the first time: We will fundamentally change America. Can everyone wake up and see that he is doing exactly that?

To the Governor of Texas, the legislature in Texas, the spineless Congress in Washington DC: I know the majority of you only care about power, money, and your next elected office, but you damn well better start telling the truth about Obama, his administration, and his ultimate goal of destroying America, or as they say in the not listened too part of America, the you-know-what will hit the fan! We common everyday folks can see through this like a glass door and will not stay quiet any longer!

When the SHTF scenario begins – and it will – all of you from the press to the sitting elected plutcocrats will have no one to blame but yourselves. We all know that you will label patriots as home-grown terrorists, right wing radicals, Bible toting gun lovers, but, in reality, they are good people who saw through the BS of this government a long time ago; people who will not give up their freedom and liberty at any cost. It will be the People who understand that Obama and his minions are evil!

We in Texas demand of those who can make a difference: stand up! Take care of Texas by getting us out of this situation. The next two years of this administration will cause the fall of all the states and the US government, or worse yet, a civil war that will make the Civil War of 1861 look like a skirmish!

Can we return to a small government led by and founded on the God-given rights as laid out by our Founding Fathers? Will you say the truth of the real evil that runs DC now? Will you stop lying to the people who know that what you say are lies? If not, people of Texas, it is time to get off the couch, take firm action with our elected leaders, and do not surrender our beloved home, our Texas, to those that lie and refuse to act!

Deny this if you will, but most know it to be true. Those that know will be enough to change things. I believe that, because there is nothing else left to believe in anymore!

God Bless Texas, Cary Wise Freedom Texas

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Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …

Singularity HUB – News and Insights on Technology, Science …

 The Singularity  Comments Off on Singularity HUB – News and Insights on Technology, Science …
Aug 152015
 

First 3D-Printed Drug Ushers in Era of Downloadable Medicine

by Shelly Fan

by Sveta McShane

by Jason Dorrier

by Sveta McShane

by Shelly Fan

by David J. Hill

by Howie Leibach

Categories

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Editor’s Picks

Should We Redesign Capitalism to Address Our Jobless Future?

Think Your Conscious Brain Directs Your Actions? Think Again

Future of Virtual Reality Series Launches Today

Why Reorganizing Google Is Essential for Its Survival

When Machines Can Do Most JobsPassion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule

Forget Rocket Fuel: This Spaceplane Will Use Microwave Beams to Reach Orbit

3D Computer Interfaces Will AmazeLike Going From DOS to Windows

Is It Really So Bad If We Prefer Virtual Reality to Reality?

Combating Scarcity With Abundance: New Impact Challenge to Tackle Californias Drought

Should You Buy the Hype? An Inside Look at the Virtual Reality Landscape

How Technology Is Crash Landing in Our Public Schools

How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Quality of Life for People Around the World?

Animal Brains Networked Into Organic Computer Brainet

How Stem Cells May Save Your Lifeand Even Extend It

You Have a Notification: Welcome to the 24/7 Work Culture

Which Way Next? A New Singularity Hub Channel to (Re)Imagine the Future

How Virtual Reality Can Unleash the Greatest Wave of Creativity in Human History

What the Next Generation Needs to Thrive in Exponential Times

How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism

Your Doctor Can Now Examine an Exact 3D Replica of Your Heart in Virtual Reality

Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity University Summits, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group. 2014 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

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North Carolina – First Amendment Center

 First Amendment  Comments Off on North Carolina – First Amendment Center
Aug 132015
 

State Supreme Court says attorney-client privilege means documents involved in redistricting can remain confidential.

4th Circuit rules that officials did not violate mans rights when it fined him for painting Screwed By The Town of Cary on his house.

Brian France, who has fought for years to keep confidential the details of his 2008 divorce, had appealed judges ruling that documents in the case should be made public.

Religious colleges in North Carolina, Illinois are challenging rules that require the schools to provide free contraceptives to employees.

Game operators had argued that 2010 law banning sweepstakes machines as a form of gambling violated their free-speech rights.

North Carolina cant offer anti-abortion license plates unless it also makes plates available for people who support abortion rights, court finds.

At issue is a new North Carolina law that strengthens a cyberbullying statute to provide extra protection to school employees from online defamation.

ACLU says statute, which may be the first of its kind in the country, could chill students speech and vows to seek plaintiffs for a possible court challenge.

North Carolina elementary school that told girl to remove reference to God before reading her poem to students was technically defensible, but it probably would have been better to let her read it as written.

Federal appeals panel finds inmate failed to explain how denial of outdoor circle for Asatru ceremony violated his religious beliefs.

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North Carolina – First Amendment Center

How to Use Tor Browser for Anonymous Web Browsing

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on How to Use Tor Browser for Anonymous Web Browsing
Aug 132015
 

This tutorial was last updated on December 3, 2013.

With increased scrutiny by employers, schools and even governments becoming more commonplace, anonymity while browsing the Web has become a priority. Many users looking for an enhanced sense of privacy are turning to Tor (The Onion Router), a network originally created by the U.S. Navy and now used by countless Web surfers across the globe.

Motives for utilizing Tor, which distributes your incoming and outgoing traffic through a series of virtual tunnels, can range from reporters aiming to keep their correspondence with a secret source private to everyday Internet users wishing to reach websites that have been restricted by their service provider.

While some choose to exploit Tor for nefarious purposes, most Web surfers simply want to stop sites from tracking their every move or determining their geolocation.

The concept of Tor, as well as how to configure your computer to send and receive packets over the network, can prove overwhelming even to some Internet veterans. Enter the Tor Browser Bundle, a software package that can get you up and running on Tor with minimal user intervention. An open-source grouping of Tor combined with the graphical controller Vidalia and a modified version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, Tor Browser Bundle runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android platforms.

This tutorial walks you through the process of obtaining and running Tor Browser Bundle so that your Web communications can once again become your business and yours alone.

Please note that no anonymization method is completely foolproof, and that even Tor users can be susceptible to prying eyes from time to time. It is wise to keep that in mind and always proceed with caution.

Mac users should skip directly to Step 10 at this point.

See the article here:
How to Use Tor Browser for Anonymous Web Browsing

Ripple, a Cryptocurrency Company, Wants to Rewire Bank …

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on Ripple, a Cryptocurrency Company, Wants to Rewire Bank …
Aug 132015
 

A digital-currency company thinks it can protect the personal information used to perform identity checks in the financial industry.

Companies built around Bitcoin and other digital currencies mostly focus on storing and transferring money. But at least one company is trying to prove that some of the underlying technology can have a much wider impact on the financial industry.

That startup, Ripple Labs, has already had some success persuading banks to use its Bitcoin-inspired protocol to speed up money transfers made in any currency, especially across borders (see 50 Smartest Companies 2014: Ripple Labs). Now it is building a system that uses some similar cryptographic tricks to improve the way financial companies check the identity of their customers. The system could also provide a more secure way to log in to other online services.

Verifying identity is a constant, expensive headache for financial institutions, which are bound by strict regulations designed to curtail money laundering and support for blacklisted organizations such as terrorist groups. Most banks turn to one of a handful of large data brokers, such as Experian or Acxiom, to power their ID checks. When you open a new account, a bank gathers key personal information and sends it to its broker to verify your identity, and to confirm that you arent on any block list.

Under Ripples system, the same basic process would take place. However, your personal information would be used to generate a unique cryptographic token. A bank could send the token to a data broker that has its own token, made using your personal information at an earlier time. The math underpinning Ripples system would allow the broker to confirm that the data you had given the bank was correct, without either the bank or the broker ever revealing the data itself.

Apples mobile payment technology uses similar technology to protect credit card numbers (see 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2015: Apple Pay). When you use Apple Pay, only a cryptographic token representing your credit card number is transferred to the merchant. That token can be used to charge your card, but it wont reveal anything to anyone who manages to steal it, and it cannot be reused.

Stefan Thomas, chief technology officer of Ripple, says its ID verification system should reduce the risk that personal data will be stolen or accidentally leaked and should also be faster than the systems used today, which have developed gradually over decades and still use outdated technology. He says Ripple decided to develop the technology after it became clear that the financial system needed more than just new ways to transfer money.

Thomas adds that by cutting costs and security risks, Ripples system might allow cheaper data brokers to emerge. It could also make it easier for banks to operate in poorer parts of the world, where verification systems can be particularly expensive to operate, even for U.S. banks, he says. And Ripples engineers are also working on ways their protocol can be used to log in to online services.

Sarah Jane Hughes, a law professor at Indiana University who specializes in payment systems, says Ripple has identified a legitimate opportunity. Companies spend a lot on complying with identity verification rules, and mistakes are expensive, she says. For example, PayPal agreed to pay $7.7 million to the U.S. Treasury last week for failing to block just under 500 transactions involving people subject to U.S. sanctions. If you could do verification more rapidly and with a greater degree of certainty, it would be hugely valuable, says Hughes.

However, Hughes says, switching to a new system would not be easy for most financial institutions. They would probably have to retain the old system for some time for compatibility reasons. That means Ripples idea would have to deliver significant benefits to gain traction.

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Ripple, a Cryptocurrency Company, Wants to Rewire Bank …

Liberty Safes, Liberty Gun Safes

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty Safes, Liberty Gun Safes
Aug 132015
 

For items weighing over 150 lbs we include a free curbside delivery, this will get the truck to your home or business, they will unload the safe with a lift gate to the ground level. The carrier will call in advance to schedule delivery. Depending on the weight of the safe you may want to arrange for additional help to bring the safe inside. Please contact us before the item ships if you live on a rural route, area not serviced by freight carriers, or on an Island. If you have a narrow, steep, or inaccessible driveway for an 18 wheel truck and trailer, you will need to upgrade to our Bronze, Gold or Platinum level service (generally delivered on a 26′ truck). If inaccessible by a 26′ truck or larger, please call us for further options.

For items under 150 lbs the order will be shipped with FedEx or UPS and occasionally USPS.

Shipping Options

FREE Shipping (Standard): Free curbside delivery with liftgate to the ground level.

Bronze: 1-2 person delivery to garage or first dry area. No weight limitation, stairs or pallet removal.

Gold: Inside placement (ground level delivery only) pallet and debris removal.

Platinum: Inside placement, up to 2 flights of stairs, pallet and debris removal. 900lb weight limitation for this service.

Questions? Feel free to give us a call! 855-248-6723

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Liberty Safes, Liberty Gun Safes

Second Amendment March

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment March
Aug 102015
 

Second Amendment March was founded in 2009 for the purpose of organizing a nationwide pro-Second Amendment Rally in Washington, D.C. The original event took place in 2010.Since that event we have focused on Michigan events, working in conjunction with Michigan’s largest gun rights organizations.

What:A peaceful gatheringto demonstrate the political strength of Michigan’s legal gun owners and Second Amendment advocates

When:Wednesday, April 29 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where:Lansing State Capitol lawn

The Details:

Michigan’s Second Amendment March will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at Michigan’s Capitol.The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the Capitol lawn. Unlike previous years, the actual march part of the event will be around the Capitol Building and it will be midway through the event. Legislature is in session that day. We’ll be showing them the political strength of Michigan’s legal gun owners. The march is being organized by Skip Coryell’s Second Amendment March and jointly promoted and funded by the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, Michigan Open Carry, and Michigan Gun Owners. Please visit our Facebook event page for the most updated information.

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Second Amendment March

Bitcoin Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia
Aug 082015
 

Bitcoin Kod ISO 4217 XBT, BTC uywane potocznie[1] Pastwo niezalena od kraju, ponadnarodowa Poziom inflacji prawdopodobny brak inflacji. Ustalenie sztywnego ograniczenia liczby na 21 mln sztuk wywiera presj deflacyjn[2] Podzia 100 000 000 satoshi = 1 bitcoin 1mBTC = 0,001BTC = 103BTC 1BTC = 0,000001BTC = 106BTC Symbol BTC, XBT[3], , [4] Bank centralny brak Mennica brak, zdecentralizowana, rozproszona

Bitcoin kryptowaluta, wprowadzona w 2009 roku przez osob (bd grup osb) o pseudonimie Satoshi Nakamoto[2]. Nazwa odnosi si take do uywajcego jej otwartordowego oprogramowania oraz sieci peer-to-peer, ktr formuje. Bitmonety mog zosta zapisane na komputerze osobistym w formie pliku portfela lub przetrzymywane w prowadzonym przez osoby trzecie zewntrznym serwisie zajmujcym si przechowywaniem takich portfeli. W kadym z tych przypadkw bitcoiny mog zosta przesane do innej osoby przez Internet do dowolnego posiadacza adresu bitcoin. Kady bitcoin dzieli si na 100000000 mniejszych jednostek, zwanych czasem satoshi.

Odmiennie ni w przypadku wikszoci walut, bitcoin nie opiera si na zaufaniu wzgldem emitenta centralnego. Bitcoin uywa zdecentralizowanej bazy danych, rozprowadzonej pomidzy wzami sieci peer-to-peer do przechowywania transakcji, oraz kryptografii w celu zapewnienia podstawowych funkcji bezpieczestwa, takich jak upewnienie si, e bitcoiny mog by wydane tylko raz przez osob, ktra je posiada w danym momencie.

Topologia peer-to-peer sieci bitcoin oraz brak administracji centralnej czyni manipulacj wartoci bitmonet poprzez produkcj wikszej ich iloci niewykonaln dla jakiejkolwiek rzdowej czy innej organizacji lub jednostki, nadal moliwa jest jednak baka spekulacyjna[5][6]. Budowa bitcoina pozwala na anonimowe posiadanie wasnoci oraz jej transfery.

Bitcoin jest jedn z pierwszych implementacji konceptu zwanego kryptowalut, pierwszy raz opisanego w 1998 r. przez Wei Daia na licie mailingowej cypherpunkw[7].

Bitcoin opiera si na transferze kwot midzy rachunkami publicznymi, przy uyciu kryptografii klucza publicznego. Wszystkie transakcje s publiczne i przechowywane w rozproszonej bazie danych. W celu zapobieenia podwjnemu wydawaniu, sie implementuje rodzaj rozproszonego serwera czasowego, uywajc koncepcji acuchowych dowodw matematycznych wykonanych dziaa (tzw. Proof of Work, w skrcie PoW). Dlatego te caa historia transakcji musi by przechowywana w bazie, a w celu ograniczenia rozmiaru magazynu uywane jest drzewo funkcji skrtu.

Bitcoin jest implementacj konceptu b-money autorstwa Wei Daia oraz Bitgold autorstwa Nicka Szabo, opart na sieci P2P. Zasady funkcjonowania systemu s opisane w specyfikacji technicznej stworzonej i opublikowanej w 2008 roku przez Satoshiego Nakamoto[2][8].

Kada osoba uczestniczca w sieci bitcoin ma portfel zawierajcy dowoln liczb par kluczy kryptograficznych. Klucze publiczne, zwane te adresami bitcoin, dziaaj jako miejsce rdowe oraz miejsce docelowe dla wszystkich patnoci. Odpowiadajce im prywatne klucze autoryzuj patnoci tylko dla posiadajcego je uytkownika. Adresy nie zawieraj adnej informacji na temat ich waciciela i s zazwyczaj anonimowe[9].

Adresy, w atwej do odczytania przez czowieka formie, s cigami tekstowymi, skadajcymi si z liczb i liter o dugoci okoo 34 znakw w formie zblionej do 1rYK1YzEGa59pI314159KUF2Za4jAYYTd. Rozpoczynaj si zawsze od liczby 1 lub 3, zawieraj wielkie i mae litery oraz cyfry alfabetu aciskiego z wykluczeniem: cyfry 0, wielkiej litery O, wielkiej litery I i maej litery l. Uytkownicy bitcoina mog posiada wiele adresw, a waciwie mog generowa nowe adresy bez adnych ogranicze, poniewa generowanie nowego adresu jest relatywnie natychmiastowe, rwne wygenerowaniu nowej pary kluczy prywatnego/publicznego oraz nie wymaga kontaktu z reszt sieci. Jest take wykorzystywany do jednoznacznej identyfikacji zapaty za towar poprzez tworzenie unikalnego adresu bitcoin dla kadej transakcji, poniewa obecnie sie nie dopuszcza tytuu przelewu znanego z tradycyjnych form przekazu. Tworzenie jednorazowych adresw wykorzystywanych do pojedynczego celu moe te pomc w zachowaniu anonimowoci uytkownika.

Bitmonety zawieraj klucz publiczny (adres) aktualnego posiadacza. Kiedy uytkownik A przetransferuje jak ilo do uytkownika B, A rezygnuje z ich posiadania, dodajc klucz publiczny (adres) B do tych monet oraz podpisujc je wasnym kluczem prywatnym[10]. Nastpnie ogasza wykonan przez siebie transakcj w komunikacie wysanym do sieci peer-to-peer. Reszta sieci sprawdza poprawno zastosowanych w transakcji podpisw cyfrowych oraz iloci monet przed jej zaakceptowaniem.

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Bitcoin Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

Portal:Libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Misc  Comments Off on Portal:Libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 082015
 

The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remained president and CEO for 35 years until 2012 when he was replaced by John A. Allison, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the second largest privately held company (after Cargill) by revenue in the United States.

The Institute’s stated mission is “to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace” by striving “to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.” Cato scholars conduct policy research on a broad range of public policy issues, and produce books, studies, op-eds, and blog posts. They are also frequent guests in the media.

Cato scholars were critical of George W. Bush’s Republican administration (20012009) on several issues, including the Iraq War, civil liberties, education, agriculture, energy policy, and excessive government spending. On other issues, most notably health care, Social Security, global warming, tax policy, and immigration, Cato scholars praised Bush administration initiatives. During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Cato scholars criticized both major-party candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.

The Cato Institute was named the fifth-ranked think tank in the world for 2009 in a study of leading think tanks by James G. McGann, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, based on a criterion of excellence in “producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs in one or more substantive areas of research”. It has been called “Washingtons premier libertarian think tank.”

Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is a Republican United States Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a physician, a bestselling author, and the fourth-place finisher in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries.

Originally from the Green Tree suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Gettysburg College in 1957, then studied at Duke University School of Medicine; after his 1961 graduation and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, he became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, serving outside the Vietnam War zone. He later represented Texas districts in the U.S. House of Representatives (19761977, 19791985, and 1997present). He entered the 1988 presidential election, running as the Libertarian nominee while remaining a registered Republican, and placed a distant third.

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Portal:Libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Racial Integrity Act of 1924 – Wikipedia, the free …

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Racial Integrity Act of 1924 – Wikipedia, the free …
Aug 042015
 

On March 20, 1924 the Virginia General Assembly passed two laws that had arisen out of contemporary concerns about eugenics and race: SB 219, titled “The Racial Integrity Act[1]” and SB 281, “An ACT to provide for the sexual sterilization of inmates of State institutions in certain cases”, henceforth referred to as “The Sterilization Act”. The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was one of a series of laws designed to prevent inter racial relationships.

The Racial Integrity Act required that a racial description of every person be recorded at birth and divided society into only two classifications: white and colored (essentially all other, which included numerous American Indians). It defined race by the “one-drop rule”, defining as “colored” persons with any African or Native American ancestry. It also expanded the scope of Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage (anti-miscegenation law) by criminalizing all marriages between white persons and non-white persons. In 1967 the law was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in its ruling on Loving v. Virginia.

The Sterilization Act provided for compulsory sterilization of persons deemed to be “feebleminded,” including the “insane, idiotic, imbecile, or epileptic.”[2]

These two laws were Virginia’s implementation of Harry Laughlin’s “Model Eugenical Sterilization Law”,[3] published two years earlier in 1922. The Sterilization Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Buck v. Bell 274 U.S. 200 (1927). This had appealed the order for compulsory sterilization of Carrie Buck, who was an inmate in the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, and her daughter and mother.

Together these laws implemented the practice of “scientific eugenics” in Virginia.

In the 1920s, Virginia’s registrar of statistics, Dr. Walter Ashby Plecker, was allied with the newly founded Anglo-Saxon Club of America in persuading the Virginia General Assembly to pass the Racial Integrity Law of 1924.[4] The club was founded in Virginia by John Powell of Richmond in the fall of 1922; within a year the club for white males had more than 400 members and 31 posts in the state.[5]

In 1923, the Anglo-Saxon Club founded two posts in Charlottesville, one for the town and one for students at the University of Virginia. It sought (and was successful in gaining) passage of legislation to classify all persons as belonging either to the “white” or “Negro” races. A major goal was to end “amalgamation” by racial intermarriage. Members claimed also to support Anglo-Saxon ideas of fair play. Later that fall, a state convention of club members was to be held in Richmond.[6]

The Virginia assembly’s 21st-century explanation for the laws summarizes their development:

The now-discredited pseudo-science of eugenics was based on theories first propounded in England by Francis Galton, the cousin and disciple of famed biologist Charles Darwin. The goal of the “science” of eugenics was to improve the human race by eliminating what the movement’s supporters considered hereditary disorders or flaws through selective breeding and social engineering. The eugenics movement proved popular in the United States, with Indiana enacting the nation’s first eugenics-based sterilization law in 1907.[7]

In the following five decades, other states followed Indiana’s example by implementing the eugenic laws. Wisconsin was the first State to enact legislation that required the medical certification of persons who applied for marriage licenses. The law that was enacted in 1913 generated attempts at similar legislation in other states.

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Racial Integrity Act of 1924 – Wikipedia, the free …

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement
Aug 022015
 

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s

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Based on a task force recommendation, the North Carolina legislature is considering paying $50,000 to living individuals sterilized by the state against their will or without their knowledge. North Carolina reportedly sterilized 7,600 individuals between 1929 and 1974. However, other American states also passed laws legalizing sterilization; the first was passed in Indiana in 1907

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Examine the Chronicle of how society dealt with mental illness and other “dysgenic” traits in the final section of our website DNA Interactive. Meet four individuals who became objects of the eugenic movement’s zeal to cleanse society of “bad” genes during the first half of the 20th century. Then meet a modern-day heroine for an account of mental illness and the lesson it holds for living in the gene age.

COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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TorBrowser – anonymity & circumvention | security in-a-box

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on TorBrowser – anonymity & circumvention | security in-a-box
Jul 312015
 

If you live in an area where accessing the Tor Network directly, as described above, is not possible or risky, you can configure Tor to try and circumvent the obstacles that are in place.

Step 1: Navigate to the Tor Browser folder, and then double click to activate the following screen:

Figure 4: The Tor Network Settings panel

Step 2: Click the button which will open a new window. You will be asked three short configuration questions to help you access the Tor Network.

Question 1: Proxy Access; If you need to access the Internet via a proxy check yes and then press . If you do not use a proxy check no and then press .

If you selected yes above, fill in your proxy settings on the following screen. If you do not know your proxy settings, check your regular browser settings. In Firefox you can find them in Options > Advanced > Network tab in Connection Settings section. In other browsers you may look for Internet Options. Use the Help feature within your browser for further assistance.

Figure 5: Proxy settings screen

Question 2: Restricted Ports; If you are accessing the Internet through a firewall that only allows access over certain ports, for example port 80 or 443 for web browsing, select yes and press to configure the ports, otherwise select no and press .

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TorBrowser – anonymity & circumvention | security in-a-box

Gene therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Gene therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jul 282015
 

Gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid polymers into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease. Gene therapy could be a way to fix a genetic problem at its source. The polymers are either expressed as proteins, interfere with protein expression, or possibly correct genetic mutations.

The most common form uses DNA that encodes a functional, therapeutic gene to replace a mutated gene. The polymer molecule is packaged within a “vector”, which carries the molecule inside cells.

Gene therapy was conceptualized in 1972, by authors who urged caution before commencing human gene therapy studies. The first gene therapy experiment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) occurred in 1990, when Ashanti DeSilva was treated for ADA-SCID.[1] By January 2014, some 2,000 clinical trials had been conducted or approved.[2]

Early clinical failures led to dismissals of gene therapy. Clinical successes since 2006 regained researchers’ attention, although as of 2014, it was still largely an experimental technique.[3] These include treatment of retinal disease Leber’s congenital amaurosis,[4][5][6][7]X-linked SCID,[8] ADA-SCID,[9][10]adrenoleukodystrophy,[11]chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),[12]acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),[13]multiple myeloma,[14]haemophilia[10] and Parkinson’s disease.[15] Between 2013 and April 2014, US companies invested over $600 million in the field.[16]

The first commercial gene therapy, Gendicine, was approved in China in 2003 for the treatment of certain cancers.[17] In 2012 Glybera, a treatment for a rare inherited disorder, became the first treatment to be approved for clinical use in either Europe or the United States after its endorsement by the European Commission.[3][18]

Following early advances in genetic engineering of bacteria, cells and small animals, scientists started considering how to apply it to medicine. Two main approaches were considered replacing or disrupting defective genes.[19] Scientists focused on diseases caused by single-gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Glybera treats one such disease, caused by a defect in lipoprotein lipase.[18]

DNA must be administered, reach the damaged cells, enter the cell and express/disrupt a protein.[20] Multiple delivery techniques have been explored. The initial approach incorporated DNA into an engineered virus to deliver the DNA into a chromosome.[21][22]Naked DNA approaches have also been explored, especially in the context of vaccine development.[23]

Generally, efforts focused on administering a gene that causes a needed protein to be expressed. More recently, increased understanding of nuclease function has led to more direct DNA editing, using techniques such as zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR. The vector incorporates genes into chromosomes. The expressed nucleases then “edit” the chromosome. As of 2014 these approaches involve removing cells from patients, editing a chromosome and returning the transformed cells to patients.[24]

Other technologies employ antisense, small interfering RNA and other DNA. To the extent that these technologies do not alter DNA, but instead directly interact with molecules such as RNA, they are not considered “gene therapy” per se.[citation needed]

Gene therapy may be classified into two types:

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Gene therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alcor: About Cryonics

 Cryonics  Comments Off on Alcor: About Cryonics
Jul 282015
 

Cryonics is an effort to save lives by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today’s medicine might be preserved for decades or centuries until a future medical technology can restore that person to full health.

Cryonics sounds like science fiction, but is based on modern science. It’s an experiment in the most literal sense of the word. The question you have to ask yourself is this: would you rather be in the experimental group, or the control group?

Cryonics is justified by three facts that are not well known:

1) Life can be stopped and restarted if its basic structure is preserved.

Human embryos are routinely preserved for years at temperatures that completely stop the chemistry of life. Adult humans have survived cooling to temperatures that stop the heart, brain, and all other organs from functioning for up to an hour. These and many other lessons of biology teach us that life is a particular structure of matter. Life can be stopped and restarted if cell structure and chemistry are preserved sufficiently well.

2) Vitrification (not freezing) can preserve biological structure very well.

Adding high concentrations of chemicals called cryoprotectants to cells permits tissue to be cooled to very low temperatures with little or no ice formation. The state of no ice formation at temperatures below -120C is called vitrification. It is now possible to physically vitrify organs as large as the human brain, achieving excellent structural preservation without freezing.

3) Methods for repairing structure at the molecular level can now be foreseen.

The emerging science of nanotechnology will eventually lead to devices capable of extensive tissue repair and regeneration, including repair of individual cells one molecule at a time. This future nanomedicine could theoretically recover any preserved person in which the basic brain structures encoding memory and personality remain intact.

So…

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Turkey calls for rare NATO talks – CNN.com

 NATO  Comments Off on Turkey calls for rare NATO talks – CNN.com
Jul 282015
 

Story highlights Turkey requested meeting under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty It was fifth time in NATO history that members held special talks under Article 4 NATO’s council: “We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey”

“We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey, and express our condolences to the Turkish government and the families of the victims in Suruc and other attacks against police and military officers,” the council said in a statement after Tuesday’s meeting, referring to an attack last week in a border town across from Kobani, Syria.

The council, which is NATO’s governing body, said terrorism in any form could never be tolerated.

“Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity,” the statement said. “It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality, or religion — a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together.”

Turkey requested the meeting under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, which allows countries to ask for consultations when they believe their territorial integrity, political independence or security are threatened.

It was the fifth time in NATO history that members had met under Article 4, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told CNN before the meeting began. The North Atlantic Council is made up of the NATO ambassadors of the 28 member countries.

“In the wake of increased security threats following the attacks against our security and law enforcement forces in the provinces of Diyarbakr, Sanlurfa and Kilis, in particular the terrorist attack that took the lives of 32 innocent Turkish citizens in Suruc on 20 July, 2015, all necessary measures are being taken and in this context, operations are also being carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Upon these recent attacks and threats directed against our national security, the North Atlantic Council has been called to a meeting by Turkey this week under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty with a view to informing our Allies about the measures we are taking and the operations we are conducting against terrorism, as well as to holding consultations with them.”

The talks came as Turkey grappled with a wave of violence near its southern border with Syria, and as Turkey has made an abrupt about-face in deciding to confront the terrorist group ISIS.

Before the meeting began, Turkey’s President called on NATO to “do its part” in helping address the country’s concerns over security on its borders.

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism