Fauster's Facts Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Fauster's Facts: wasting time smarter and faster


My name is Fauster. I'm a physics grad student.

The best blog out there that I know of is BoingBoing . However, I find myself longing for a blog with more political and current events content (minus redundant summary essays). My favorite political blog is The Daily KOS. But my ideal of a blog is one that bridges the gap between entertaining and informative. I don't wholly endorse the thoughts and opinions expressed in any of my links. Links must pass only the interesting litmus test.

Today's Thoughts: Never Trust Gallup's impartiality Or the media's breathless attention to emphasizing who's part of the in crowd.

Here's an obligatory James Gannon/Jeff Guckert/HotMilitaryStud article. The story is still active in blogland, but it dropped off the radar in Yahoo Most E-mailed and it's play on CNN and FOX has been muted and abbreviated. One of the things I really love about this story is that the investigation into Gannon's identity blew a scant day after John Stewart mocked his eggregious "Dems... out of touch with reality" question on The Daily Show . This story should get more play when one considers the disturbing trend of the Bush Admin to blatantly use taxpayer dollars for propaganda.

On a side note, The Daily Show is cutting edge liberal media. The Daily Show heavily influences Moore's F-911 and increasingly frames the left's side in the crossfire-esqe cable news "debates". Thank God new Daily Show clips regularly appear online because I refuse to pay $40/month to government-approoved, non-A-la-Carte cable monopolies. Especially when I get most of my copyrighted media for free.

Gnucleus Is a must have open-source shareware program for any PC owner.
Unfortunately, I'm not yet aware of Linux and Mac binaries. I not only endorse the file-sharing of copyrighted material, but I feel that it piracy plays an important role in protecting American democracy. Fair use laws should absolutely extend to digital as well as printed media for the one reason that people consume it in such prolific quantities. We need to be able to download, display, and criticize flagrantly right wing FOX NEWS clips. We need to think critically about all aspects of news and popular media, not simply about what was said and what was printed. Cable news, commercials, and television clips can and should be chopped up, repackaged, and strewn across the gnutella networks. People should not only be allowed to download these democracy-influncing pieces of copyrighted works, but to redistribute them as well, so long as they don't personally profit from it. We must err on the side of a free discorse of ideas, not on the side of personal profit. Democracy, not income, is at stake. We've all had it beaten into us by the copyright-owning mass media powers that file-sharing is wrong, and criminal, and deserves Harsh Punishment . These voices come from institutions that care more about profit than justice, that care more about ratings than reality.

Fun Stuff: Here's a link that shows us how cool high resolution images can be: The original of each of these pictures has around 4 gb of info (A DVD!!). In a single image! Make sure to visit The GigaPxl Project . I am eagerly awaiting updates. Bet the spy agencies aren't happy with the quaility of his camera!

Learn to dance like a windsock!

Science News: link to the new Einstein Archives site. Complete with scans of original unpublished notes (in German unfortunately). Any great physicist must have dozens of unworkable ideas for every published theory. Maybe some of those dead ends are holed up here.

Finally, a site that drops the F-word: The Fourteen Points of Fascism. In the wake of 9-11, I and many others worried more about the impact of fear-mongering on our freedoms than that of Terror. In 2005 leftists and communists are unblinkingly labled Terrorists. Now, the Right has the new enemy that the miliary needed in communism's wake. In spite of America's manifestly Republican-owned liberal media, I don't believe we are yet a Fascist state. However, Neo-conservativism (i.e. post WTC conservatism), embraces many features of fascist states. Tyranny of the majority has come to pass. The system of Checks and Balances (beloved by our enlightened founding fathers) is comatose. Remember-> five of nine current supreme court justices are Republican-appointed. Though we're not there yet, I sincerely fear that we're one dirty bomb away from Fascism.

On a more personal note, one of my favorite physics professors is named Dr. Paul Csonka. Csonka (pronounced Chonka) graduated from high school in Hungary at the age of 16 and went straight to graduate school in Germany to study relativistic particle physics. He worked alongside The Werner Heisenberg as he earned his doctorate. Csonka lived in Europe as fascists gradually came to power. He now strongly warns his physics students that post-9-11 America has the same culture of fear that lead to fascism in Germany, Austria and Hungary. He knows what it feels like before fascists gain control of a democracy, and he says it feels like America in 2004. He warns us that with one more bomb in one more U.S. city our democracy and civil rights will be the greatest casualties. To be fair, we still live in a democracy, and talk of coming fascism is highly speculative. However, when so much is at stake, can we afford not to speculate? Comments welcome.

Pic of the day: An endangered tarsier, the world's smallest primate. His hind legs are long so he can jump and catch insects in midair. According to Wikipedia, "some are extremely traumatised by captivity, killing themselves by banging their heads against the cage." Poor wittle guy! =( Can you imagine him headbanging himself to death? How depressed and miserable do you have to be? He must be feeling something!

Sligtly related: The philosopher Nagel asserts that the problem with a scientific theory of consciousness is the subjective nature of human experience. We can never know what it's like to be something we're not, ergo it's impossible to know what it's like to be a tarsier trapped in a cage spazzing to death! Nagel article: "What is it like to be a bat" .


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