Campaign Zero

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Some Black Lives Matter activists have put forth a reasonable, coherent,  and achievable platform, Campaign Zero.

More on Mashable.

Anyone who thinks these reforms are outlandish is at the very least a contrarian asshole, and very likely, a bigot and a fascist. It’s a cool move that they have check sheets to match current presidential candidates to their agenda.

However,  I did look at the comments on Mashable. One person was calling them out on being inaccurate on Rand Paul’s stance on the demilitarization of the police. As much as I loathe Paul, it seems that commenter is right. Hm. At least Campaign Zero invites clarifications and corrections. That commenter should reach out in earnest to them.

spooky action at a distance clears another hurdle

Entanglement swapping.

the team managed to generate 245 entangled pairs of electrons over the course of nine days. The team’s measurements exceeded Bell’s bound, once again supporting the standard quantum view. Moreover, the experiment closed both loopholes at once: because the electrons were easy to monitor, the detection loophole was not an issue, and they were separated far enough apart to close the communication loophole, too.

The craziest bit is that one of the disclaimers is that the hidden variables themselves could be manipulating the scientists into what to measure for in the experiment.  It’s flagged as philosophical, but it still a fun possibility.

It’s under peer review now.

First post on Between the World & Me

Last week I read Between the World & Me. My reaction isn’t the sort that one can tap out with my thumbs on my phone, and my thoughts on Coates’ book aren’t all that interesting or unique. Instead I’ll link the post on Crooked Timber as he articulated much of what I wanted to say better anyway.

I wished that middle section on his time at Howard never ended. His education was compelling. He had me with the Nzinga story. I’d remember the anecdote, if not her name, and always found it disturbing. That pivot connected well with me.

His atheism was a surprise. I was ignorant of that. Honestly, this is one of the first few longform Coates pieces I’ve read. His pragmatic stance is refreshing. It’s funny to see some of the New Atheists snarl defensively at his curt brush off of their stance.

An aside is his Twitter account. I know he writes about blackness extensively. I’m not black obviously.  I’m never going to understand firsthand. However,  I don’t care. Yesterday he was chiding people for not giving the World of Greyhawk its proper respect in ranking the AD&D worlds. How am I supposed to set him apart and see him as alien because he’s black? I don’t sit around thinking about being white. I think about the books I’ve read and music I’ve listened to, and Coates has a more of a few of the same touchstones as me. It doesn’t waive the peculiar, tainted history of America, which includes my family’s long history that wades deep in some dark places, but I’d fat prefer to cast my lot with him.

The book, the book… I’m supposed to be writing about the book.

Perhaps in a later post.

Stingrays and Katrina

It wasn’t all about 9/11. In the aftermath of Katrina, the communication systems in Southeast Louisiana and Gulf Coast Mississippi were devastated. It was tough to get cell phones to work. Regular landlines were useless. The FBI realized they needed to accelerate their efforts.

Hurricane Katrina incapacitated wide swaths of telecommunications infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, including thousands of cell phone towers. Power outages also meant many people were unable to recharge their mobile devices. It’s thus unclear which Harris Corporation product the FBI’s cell phone tracking team identified as a critical solution. The FBI refuses to provide additional details about the procurement.

What the hell kind of surveillance technology do they have access to supplement Stingray in the absence of power and infrastructure?